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Campus Life

University Police Introduce Explosive Detection K9 Units

From L to R: Officer Morales with Reed and Officer Collier with Ford

Meet the two newest members of the Wolfpack family – Reed and Ford, specially trained “person-borne” explosive detection dogs that will be working daily on campus and at athletic and special events at NC State.

The NC State University Police Department is the first police department in North Carolina to utilize person-borne explosive detection dogs. Unlike most bomb sniffing K-9 units, Reed and Ford can do more than search buildings, packages, vehicles or objects for explosives. They can work on the outside perimeter of events and detect the odor of explosives or gunpowder on a person as that person approaches the venue. They can then track that individual as he or she moves through the crowd.

Reed and Ford are Labrador retrievers, a breed known for friendliness, intelligence and an exceptional sense of smell. The two are currently completing six weeks of training with their NC State handlers – four weeks at K2 Solutions in Jackson Springs, North Carolina, which provided the dogs, followed by two weeks on campus. They will make their debut at the first football game of the season on September 1, when Wolfpack opens against William & Mary in a Thursday night game at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Once their training is complete, Reed and Ford will live full-time with their handlers, and will do daily patrols in addition to working special and athletic events on campus.

“In the last few years, there has been an identified need to train K-9s to identify explosives on individuals, particularly at large sporting events and other locations where there are large crowds of people,” says Chief of Police Jack Moorman. “We take the safety of our campus seriously and are committed to providing the best security possible.”