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Hibbing Police Department introduces new electronic detection K9

The Hibbing Police Department is welcoming a new electronic detection K9 to their crew.
The Hibbing Police Department is welcoming a new electronic detection K9 to their crew.(KBJR/CBS)
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:02 PM CST
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HIBBING, MN. (KBJR) - The Hibbing Police Department is welcoming a new electronic detection K9 to their crew.

Electronic detection dogs are used to help in various types of crimes by sniffing out electronic devices as small as a penny.

“They’re trained to sniff out a metal on electronic devices whether it be a cell phone or flash drive basically anything of that nature,” said Chief Steven Estey of Hibbing Police Department.

New handler, Officer Brittany Dillinger, said electronics can hold a surplus of evidence for crimes like sex trafficking, child exploitation, and terror operations.

Dillinger said that certain types of evidence are more difficult for humans to find.

“When we go through a house there’s only so much we can find ourselves but with that extra, you know them being able to use their nose and find something that we might not be able to find can be the difference between somebody going to prison or not,” Dillinger said.

Chief Estey said more noses able to smell a wider range of evidence also benefits surrounding agencies in their area.

“Getting this dog can not just help our cites but the cities in our region. Which as we know Duluth has a big harbor, sex trafficking, and that type of stuff. Once Officer Dillinger is trained our goal is to help those types of agencies out as well and those types of cases,” Estey said.

Hibbing will be the first town to have an electronic detection dog outside of the Minnesota Bureau for Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

There are only two others with the BCA named Luna and Sota.

“This dog we can use different crimes, you know help solve different crimes, so I think it’s pretty cool to have a tool like that,” Dillinger said.

The lab currently doesn’t have a name.

The dog will go through weeks of training in Indiana with Officer Dillinger.

Once the new K9 is trained and back in Hibbing, the department will host a community event to pick a name for the dog.

The funding for the new K9 comes through a grant from non-profit Operation Underground Railroad.

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