Hibbing Police Department Introduces New Electronic K9 Detection

HIBBING, MN. (CBS) – The Hibbing Police Department welcomes a new electronic detection K9 to its crew.

Electronic detection dogs are used to assist in various types of crimes by sniffing electronic devices as small as a penny.

“They’re trained to detect metal on electronic devices, whether it’s a cell phone or a thumb drive, basically anything of that nature,” Chief Steven Estey of the Hibbing Police Department.

The new handler, Officer Brittany Dillinger, said the electronics may contain excess evidence for crimes like sex trafficking, child exploitation and terrorist operations.

Dillinger said some types of evidence are harder for humans to find.

“When we walk through a house we can’t find each other, but with this supplement you know they can use their noses and find something that we might not be able to find can be the difference between someone who go to jail or not,” Dillinger said.

Chief Estey said more noses that can smell a wider range of evidence also benefit surrounding agencies in their area.

“Getting this dog can not only help our cities, but the cities in our region. As we know, Duluth has a big port, sex trafficking and that kind of stuff. Once Agent Dillinger is trained, our goal is to help those kinds of agencies and those kinds of cases as well,” Estey said.

Hibbing will be the first city to have an electronic detection dog outside of the Minnesota Bureau for Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

There are only two others with the BCA named Luna and Sota.

“This dog, we can use different crimes, you know how to help solve different crimes, so I think it’s pretty cool to have a tool like that,” Dillinger said.

The lab does not have a name at this time.

The dog will undergo weeks of training in Indiana with Officer Dillinger.

Once the new K9 is trained and back in Hibbing, the department will hold a community event to choose a name for the dog.

Funding for the new K9 comes from a grant from the non-profit organization Operation Underground Railroad.

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