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Dogs Trained to Track “Vapor Wake” from Terrorists Patrol Holidays

Working Dogs

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is ramping up security. This year, in addition to officers with “assault weapons and portable radiation detectors walking among the crowd” and “sharpshooters on rooftops”, we will see a special group of scent dogs trained to detect explosives in large crowds. 

Scent Dogs Fighting Terrorism

The NYPD will be using “Vapor Wake Dogs” to track “thermal plumes left behind in a person’s wake,” Paul Hammond, President of Vapor Wake Training Program VWK9 LLC, told Rolling Stone.

This specialty training helps dogs become adept at avoiding the millions of distractions of large crowds and instead use their incredible sense of smell to hone in on explosive particles and firearm residue from terrorists who move through the crowd, allowing police and special agents to stop apprehend a suspect before a devastating event.

According to the VWK9 website, “Scent particles are carried behind a person in a “thermal plume”, produced by the body’s natural heat. A person’s natural thermal plume goes upwards when a person is standing still, but as soon as they begin moving, the thermal plume extends behind them much like the wake behind a boat in the water (thus the name, “Vapor Wake”).

Vapor Wake K9 Detection Teams will work a crowd by sampling the cross-section of people moving through a crowd. As soon as a Vapor Wake dog detects explosive odor, it will follow the source of the odor: a person, a bag left behind, something carried inside and then hidden –a Vapor Wake dog will always follow to the actual source of the threat.”

While this is still relatively new technology, it has been used in the past – most notably during the inauguration of Barack Obama, in 2012.

To learn how you and your dog can become skilled in this new training, visit VWK9.

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