Carthage, NC - The newest member of the Moore County Public Safety has a nose up on arsonists and is planning on using those skills to sniff out the causes of fires. The new investigator is accelerant detection K-9,” Friday”. “Friday,” a black Labrador Retriever, and Bryan Phillips, recently completed the 200 hour canine-accelerant detection school sponsored by State Farm® and certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
The program is funded by State Farm Insurance Companies® and is available to fire departments and law enforcement agencies across the United States. Since its beginning in 1993, the program has placed more than 300 dogs in 44 states, three Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia. Three of those dogs are currently working in North Carolina and are located in Winston Salem Fire Department, Elizabeth City Fire Department and Moore County Public Safety.
In 2009, over 41,500 intentionally set fires were set in the United States causing over $792 million dollars in property damage and killing 170 civilians according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“We want to help support the efforts of the Moore County Department of Public Safety to douse arson fires in Moore County and surrounding area and put criminals behind bars,” Heather Paul State Farm Public Relations. “The scope of arson goes beyond impacting insurance companies - it affects the personal and financial well-being of us all. Training dogs to detect accelerants at fire scenes saves time and money in arson investigations.”
A few years ago, investigators could spend days or weeks sifting through rubble at a scene. Today, with a trained dog, the work can be done in less than an hour.
“The dog extends the capabilities of the Moore County Department of Public Safety Fire Investigators in determining Origin and Cause,” said Bryan Phillips, Director of Public Safety. “The scent-discriminating abilities of a canine are better than any equipment we can take to a fire scene when arson is suspected. The canine will lead the investigator to the location of the accelerant, so the investigator can take a sample to the state’s crime labs in order to prove arson.”
For more information about the Arson Dog Program visit the Web site at www.arsondog.org.
Amy Preddy, State Farm Public Affairs, (434) 872-5211
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