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“Cyber dog” coming to Thunder Bay Police Services

By CJ Goater Sep 28, 2023 | 1:41 PM

Thunder Bay Police Services - Acadia Broadcasting File

A new electronic storage detection canine also known as cyber dog within the Thunder Bay Police Service is expected to arrive early next year.

The dog is able to detect a chemical compound that is present in devices used to store data.

The dogs are mainly labrador retrievers and are trained through a program in the United States. TBPS is one of the first police services in the country set to receive one of these dogs, following in the steps of Peel, and Toronto police.

Cyber dog is going to be a member of the cybercrime unit and will be present with the unit at the station throughout the day. The dog will spend off-work hours living at home with their handler.

Detective Inspector Jeremy Pearson of the TBPS highlighted the dog will also provide other benefits, “The additional benefits to having this dog are, we have a dog that is not apprehension or pursuit trained, there’s no aggression, there’s no suspect apprehension capability in this dog, so this is truly just a friendly dog that is present.”

The service life of the dogs is expected to be 5-7 years.

The cost to the TBPS is expected to be minimal, “We will be responsible for food, and for veterinary care, and then responsible for our own transportation for our yearly re-training, and refresher training, so the cost we anticipate at this time will be under four thousand dollars annually.” explained Pearson.

When the dog arrives it is expected to be ready to contribute to the service immediately, but it is not guaranteed that will be the case.