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Meet the newest explosive-detecting dog in metro Detroit

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 10:04:35-04

(WXYZ) — The Rochester Police Department has added a new member to its force. Last week, Pearl, an explosive-sniffing dog, joined the ranks!

According to Rochester Police Chief Steven Schettenhelm, the department had been approached by Elite Detection K9, a Leader Dogs for the Blind company, to assist with a new initiative, expanding their experience to breed and train explosive-detecting K-9s.

According to the chief, they decided that Pearl would work with Officer Michael Knight, who also handles Kitt, the department's tracking and narcotics detection dog.

In a letter to the Rochester City Council, Schettenhelm said that Officer Knight's family supported taking in a second dog, and that other departments have handlers with two dogs.

"This gives each K-9 handler the ability to provide narcotics detection, tracking, handler protection and either explosive detection or arson detection services from the same vehicles with two dogs," Schettenhelm said in the letter.

According to the chief, Pearl will help the city a lot as they have used explosive K-9s before high-profile visits at the Royal Oak Hotel and also provide sweets during major events like the Christmas Parade, Big, Bright Light Show and more.

They paid for the K-9 using forfeiture funds, which cost $5,000. They will also spend $2,500 to modify the department's K-9 vehicle to add a rear grate and $1,500 to train the dog.

"We feel that this is an excellent opportunity to provide this additional service to our community at a minimal cost to the City. Officer Knight has been selected by his peers for this additional responsibility. His efforts with Kitt have made him very capable of successfully completing certification as both a handler and master trainer," Schettenhelm said in the letter.

Check out some highlights during her first week below!