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Detroit gets new type of explosive sniffing dog

Posted: 4:43 PM, May 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-25 20:46:18Z

Three different law enforcement agencies will soon get canines that can detect bombs up to 600 feet away, whether the explosives are on a person or on the ground.

Vapor Wake canines uses dogs for a new type of bomb detecting technology. Traditional bomb-sniffing dogs detect static objects.

But Vapor Wake dogs can smell body-warn explosives up to 200 yards away.

"A waist band explosive, could be a vest, could be a bag carried. These dogs are capable of locating that while it's moving," said Seth Mayo of AMK9. "It's amazing how these dogs are so smart and their noses are so strong where they can do the stuff they do."

Illitch Charities is donating $135,000 for Michigan's first Vapor Wake dogs.

"We got a little bit of a discount because we purchased three, but it is around $50,000 and what that does, is the training at the University of Auburn for the trainer and the dog," said Illitch Charities President Michael Healy.

Michigan State Police, Detroit Police and Wayne State University Police will get one of these dogs.

"More than just another tool in the tool box. This is a very exciting tool," said Police Chief Anthony Holt of the Wayne State University Police Department.  "It increases our capabilities ten fold. It's like having 20 more people in the entrance searching bags coming in. Instead we have a very friendly unobtrusive dog out here."

There is reason why Vapor Wake dogs are not typical looking police canines, like German Shepards.

"We use labs and we also do short haired pointers. We have a golden retriever," Mayo explained. "A dog that is more appealing to the public, looks more appealing, we want to blend in and don't want to cause a scene, scare people."

And the three dogs will train over the summer and will be ready to work in their departments this fall.