In November, the Torrance Police Foundation board approved a grant for an additional K-9 dog for the Torrance Police department for $29,700. With the help of our sponsors and in particular, the Honda Associates who held several fundraisers to fund a new K-9, we were able to fulfill this need. Additionally, one of our current K-9 dogs will be trained in explosive detection (“bomb sniffing”). To date, Torrance has been one of the few agencies without this in place. As a response to the recent increase in terrorist attacks throughout the world, having this capability will have a large impact on the safety of our community.
K-9’s have a rich history of working with law enforcement and military units dating back to the 1800s. Police K-9’s receive specific training to assist law enforcement in ways other tools cannot. The structure of a dog’s nose gives it a sense of smell that is 300,000 – 500,000 times stronger than the human nose, allowing them to follow a scent trail undetectable to humans, even breaking down specific scents. For example, humans can smell beef stew cooking, whereas a K-9 smells individual ingredients like the onions, carrots, and thyme. For that reason, K-9’s are used to sweep venues for explosives, search buildings for narcotics and apprehend suspects on the run.
Recent patrol activity has reflected the need for additional K-9 teams as well. With an increase of felony traffic stops, vehicle pursuits, foot pursuits and ensuing police containments, there is a greater need for additional K-9 apprehension teams.
The new Explosive Detection Canine will serve multiple purposes. As has been proven in recent years, both domestically and internationally, terrorists commonly identify “soft” or vulnerable targets in search of victims. A highly visible, active, Explosive Detection Canine has the potential to deter these types of attacks from occurring in the future.
It is with great appreciation for the work of the Torrance Police K-9 unit that the Torrance Police Foundation supports their efforts to continue to build the resources for the work they do, and to keep our community safe. The Torrance Police Foundation will be working with community members to set up opportunities to share with the public the work of the K-9 unit.
If you own a business, and would like to host a K-9 demonstration for your employees, please contact Robin Garfield at Robin@torrancepolicefoundation.org.