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Electronic storage device tracking dog to help combat child pornography

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There’s a new investigative tool that the Anchorage Police Department will be using to combat child pornography, in the form of four legs, yellow fur and one tail. A golden lab, Odie, will be cracking down crime through the power of his nose. Lt. Kevin Vandegriff says it’s hard to believe. Odie is able to sniff and find chemical unique to electronic storage devices such as hard drives, SD cards, disks, cd’s and phones.

“Just like many of you I was like you gotta be kidding me a dog can find electronic storage media? We need to bring one of these to Alaska," said Vandergriff.

There are only 10 K9’s in the world able to sniff out and identify these chemicals. Odie started out as a Guiding Eyes for the Blind dog but could not continue due to his incredible amount of energy. Gleeson then went on to training in Connecticut, graduating with four other K9 classmates. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says he supports the department’s approach.

“We’ve got cutting edge technology which is changing the nature of crime and the more innovative we can be in combating crime the more we can do to protect the people of Anchorage," said Berkowitz.

Dog Sniffing K9’s have proven to be powerful tools. Another dog-sniffing K9, known as Bear, was the dog who helped with a notorious case involving Jared Fogle, known as the Subway guy. As the case developed, Jared prepared for law enforcement to search his home in Indianapolis.

“He had child pornography and he had stored it on a couple of thumb drives and he hid it in his garage in a coffee can full of nuts and bolts. What Jared didn't know was that there was an electronic storage detection dog that was going to be augmenting the Indiana state police," said Vandegriff.

Bear found the evidence that made the case. Jared is now serving his sentence of 15 years in prison.

Odie’s trainer, Sgt. Aaron Whit, gave a demonstration with Odie sniffing out hidden chemicals. Odie got a dog treat each time he successfully found it.

“Now When he’s not working you have to watch your food," said Whit.

Odie, previously known as Gleezon, gets his name from Anchorage Police officer Barry Odin Hetlet who passed away last year. To honor Hetlet’s memory who was a prominent figure in protecting the children in the community, Hetlet’s Widow gave Gleeson the middle name of Odie.