NYPD Deploys New Breed of Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The NYPD is poised to take a bigger bite out of crime, thanks to some new specially trained four-legged recruits. (Published Thursday, Jun 2, 2011)

    There’s a new breed of bomb sniffing dog and the NYPD is using them on the front lines to try to help track terrorists armed with hidden explosives.

    These new specially trained dogs can smell explosives in a moving crowd, and follow and zero in on the scent of the explosives.

    Called "vapor wake" canines, the dogs are deployed daily at key locations across the city like landmarks and transportation hubs. 

    NYPD officials said these new dogs can smell out bombs concealed in shoes, underwear or even tucked away in luggage as a suspect moves through a subway station or down a street.

    In an exclusive demonstration for NBC New York, the NYPD took the dogs into Grand Central and the Times Square subway stations.

    Using decoys carrying hidden explosive-like devices, the dogs were able to lead police to the pretend bomber.

    Sniffing the air back and forth, one Labrador moved in and then led her police handler right to the moving suitcase and then sat down.

    “That is how we know who the person is,” said Lt. John Pappas, who helped implement the new program.  “It could be a person wearing explosives or trying to plant a bomb … all of those scenarios.”

    The training for the dogs is so precise that 85 percent of dogs flunk the program.

    Those that make it through are trained for at least another year before being deployed in New York.