K-9 Kappes is a talented dog who uses his nose to sniff out crime. It’s a nose that is approximately a million times better than the human sense of smell.
To put it in perspective, Officer Todd Tedow says, “If we could see a five-foot tall person from here standing in Chicago, that’s how good their sense of smell is.”
Officer Lindsey May says the dogs are trained in narcotics so they’re able to smell drugs that might be hiding from plain view.
The dogs are able to find drugs due to the amount of training that they go through. After bonding for a month at home, officers and their dogs go to the Illinois State Police Academy to train for six weeks. But once they are finished at the academy, their training isn’t over yet.
“You have to constantly stay on top of the dogs to make sure that they understand what they’re doing, and are very good at it,” said Officer May.
“We have to write detailed notes about that and keep accuracy records so that when we do have to go to court over a situation or case they can see how accurate we are,” Officer Tedrow added.
The dogs are required to train sixteen hours a month outside of their duties in order to stay certified. During this training, officers will put a drug-coated towel over a toy for their dogs to find. After hiding the toy, the dogs work with their partners’ commands to find the target. And at the end of a day on duty, the hard work of training is given a much-deserved reward of playtime.