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A police dog in Florida can sniff out child porn. He’s looking for a chemical scent

You’ve heard of bomb- and drug-sniffing police dogs.

You may have heard of service dogs that can detect changes in a diabetic’s blood sugar levels. They are trained to wake their masters before they lapse into a coma.

But did you know police K9s can be trained to sniff out child porn?

Kind of.

In the case of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, meet Ty. He’s a 2-year-old yellow lab that has been trained to detect the chemical scent of electronics that are often hidden in the most unusual of places, reports WJXT News4 Jax.

It should be made clear Ty isn’t trained to detect the content on the electronics, just the electronics themselves. But it’s safe to assume if someone is going to great lengths to hide a thumb drive, chances are there’s some data on it a person doesn’t want you to see.

Ty’s official title: Electronic Scent Detection Canine, or ESDC for short.

“What Ty is trained on is a chemical odor that most of your electronic devices will have in them, and he picks up on that odor,” Clay County spokesman Deputy Drew Ford told News4Jax.

“The suspects and criminals get very, very creative when it comes to hiding electronic devices,” Ford told First Coast News.

How creative?

Think micro SD cards or thumb drives that hold data, which can include offenses like child pornography, tucked inside books, taped to the bottom of drawers, even slipped inside a shower curtain rod.

The sheriff’s department has found the electronics in all of these places, often thanks to the K9 nose that knows.

When Ty, who works with deputies in the department that tackles crimes against minors, isn’t sniffing out SD cards, he’s used as a therapy dog to help anxious kids.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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