Denver ATF K9 headed to the Super Bowl

Posted at 10:04 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 00:45:47-05

Law enforcement K9s across the metro area are being trained to detect homemade devices, and one of the canines is headed to the Super Bowl to help with security.

A training session was held at the Denver Federal Reserve on Wednesday. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said it brought in a chemist to work with the dogs and their handlers.

"We put their nose in the can and determine if that is an explosive odor or not," explained ATF special agent Rennie Mora.

In a matter of seconds, the K9s are trained to smell, detect and indicate to their handlers which can contains an explosive. Once they find the explosive, each handler provides the canines with a reward which can be food or a toy.

"She gets rewarded with her kibbles," said Mora.

Mora is Randi's handler, a four-and-half year old black lab.  

Both Randi and Mora will be in Santa Clara next month and will help sweep the entire perimeter of Levi's Stadium before the Super Bowl.

"How critical are dogs like Randi in detecting these types of devices before thousands of people go into a venue?" asked Denver7's Jennifer Kovaleski.

"Very critical, canines are used in a way that they can detect and smell and search at a rapid pace," said Mora. "With such a high profile event, unfortunately we have enemies out there that want to disrupt that and we just want to make sure we enjoy the game."

Randi and Mora were also called down to Colorado Springs on the night of the Planned Parenthood shooting, "[to] search the grounds of that Planned Parenthood and also vehicles that were still in the parking lot," he said.

More than a dozen K9s from across the metro area also took part in Wednesday training, including Jefferson County Deputy JJ Smith and his dog, Thorn.

"[The] opportunity to get exposure to training aids or explosive odors is huge," said Smith. He called it 'critical training' to help keep the public safe.

"Bad guys nowadays, they use explosives," said Deputy Smith.

The ATF said their trained K9s have also been able to help find weapons and shell casings for Denver Police, key evidence that has helped put people behind bars.


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