Police Tricks-of-the-Trade: Scent Dogs

by Ryu

Scent evidence. Very few people outside of law enforcement know about this. It is not just used by prisons to track escapees.

Scent dogs are a great danger when the offender commits his crime within walking distance of his home. In those cases, departments using a dog could just walk right up to the offender’s door. Of course, this is not admissible in court but is highly suggestive.

Not every department has a scent dog. However, it is common to use scent dogs in burglaries, homicides, robberies and arsons. This is how police can go from “nothing” to walking right to the suspect’s home.

The human body is constantly shedding “epithelial” or skin cells. This is what the dog is picking up with its nose.

Now for the dangerous part: generalizing. For every case using scent dogs that I’ve seen, the trail ends when the suspect gets into a car. Probably it helps to close all the windows also.

3 Comments to “Police Tricks-of-the-Trade: Scent Dogs”

  1. Molecular air samplers that can identify complex scent molecules are probably still a decade away.

    Until then political dissidents should wear freshly laundered (or thrift store) clothes, shower but avoid using strong bodyspray, avoid touching things, and get the hell out of Dodge.

    • They have them now, but virtually no local PDs can afford them. They are called sniffers, which is essentially portable GC-MSs. BigFed agencies have them.

  2. Off subject – I know. After incidents in Nice, France this morning, Isn’t it about time Obama started discussing restrictions against trucks? #jesuisnice

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