ORLANDO, Fla. – Police dogs, with their ultra-sensitive noses, have long been trained to successfully follow a human scent, sniff out drugs, or locate cadavers.
But K-9s, it turns out, are just as effective in locating hidden cell phones, memory cards or hard drives.
Kissimmee Police K-9 Officer Georgie Torres, also a Florida statewide cybercrimes task force agent, was frustrated that searches by human hands and eyes were “leaving evidence on the table” and allowing suspects accused of child sex crimes to spend less time in prison or avoid a conviction entirely.
Often times, Torres could tell through a forensic examination of computer hard drives that files showing child pornography or child abuse were transferred to another device but that device could not be found.
Torres said child molesters or child pornographers hide their electronic devices from family members, friends and law enforcement.
So as soon as Torres learned of a K-9 trained in detection of electronic devices, he secured permission from the police chief and purchased “Baxter.”
“We are a lot more sure of ourselves [with Baxter] once we leave a home that we got everything we needed,” Torres said. “So that way we can go out and stop these kids from being hurt in the way that they are.”