ARDEN HILLS – Dozens of K-9s are in the Twin Cities to sharpen their explosive-detecting senses.
Between 30 and 40 K-9 teams from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are meeting at Boston Scientific in Arden Hills for a three-day explosive detection training put on by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Most of the teams are from the Midwest, and two are from Canada. All will undergo the National Odor Recognition Test.
“We have a couple of practice circles where we have the team come through and we expose them to different explosives, some of which they may not have locally here,” said Cody Monday, with the ATF.
The test consists of 10 explosive odors and distractor odors.
“We only want dogs to respond to the explosive," Monday said. "Once the dog finds an explosive it comes to a passive response. Usually it sits or lies down and that indicates to the handler the dog has found an explosive and then the dog is rewarded with a toy or food.”
With the Super Bowl coming to Minneapolis, Monday said dogs have to be prepared for all types of explosives.
The ATF trains their dogs for six weeks. During that time they are trained to locate 19,000 different combinations of explosives.
“They switch from family member pet to a working dog," Monday said. "And that’s where you see them out patrolling the streets, airports, everywhere.”