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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Police dogs or “K9 officers” have long been used by local law enforcement agencies for various reasons, including drug searches, tracking suspects and flushing out criminals. 

And now the Rochester Fire Department has its version of a K9 Officer. 

No, it’s not a Dalmatian. 

It’s a yellow Labrador named Radar that is partnering with a new member of RFD, Fire Marshall Chris Ferguson. 

According to RFD:

“Ferguson “has been partnered with Arson K9 Radar as part of the State Farm Arson Dog Program for the last 4 years. Arson K9 Radar is trained to detect accelerants during fire investigations. To help combat arson fraud and increase community awareness of the problem, State Farm has been providing financial support for the acquisition and training of an arsonist’s worst nightmare: accelerant detection canines, better known as the arson dog. Accelerant detection canines are trained to sniff out minute traces of accelerants (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) that may have been used to start a fire. All the K-9s are Labrador Retrievers and are trained using a food-reward method. All K-9s and their handlers must be recertified every year. The program uses Labrador Retrievers for numerous reasons. Labs have a superior ability to discriminate among scents at a fire scene. Their noses can smell in parts per quintillion. Labs generally have a gentle disposition, a “love to work” attitude, and an outgoing personality. All of these characteristics make Labs the perfect choice to become an arson dog.”

News update:  Some Rochester public school students may be back in the classroom fulltime in the near future.

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