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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 210833 Find in a Library
Title: When You Pass Go, Collect $200
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:32  Issue:7  Dated:July 2005  Pages:20,22,24,26,29
Author(s): Jennifer Mertens
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 7
Document: HTML
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After reviewing the history of the police use of cadaver dogs--who are useful in searches for bloodspatter, surface human remains spread by animals, missing persons, and buried bodies--this article describes their selection, training, and search management.
Abstract: This article is based primarily on an interview with Matt Zarrella, a corporal with the Rhode Island State Police, who began working with police dogs in 1991, after being trained by Andy Rebmann, who had the second working police cadaver dog in the Nation. A police cadaver/search dog is typically the German Shepherd; however, a wide variety of breeds have been and can be used for search and rescue. Zarrella is known for his work with Greater Swiss Mountain dogs. The cadaver dog discovers bodies based on the odor of a decomposed body, which remains in the soil. The primary training aids for cadaver dogs are soil samples taken from graves. The well-trained dog will be able to respond to a variety of scents. In training, scent sources are placed in soil for the dog to locate when given the appropriate cue. Once the animal finds the scent source, it is trained to give an indication to its handler; this includes an "alert," which is the change in the dog's body language that shows its encounter with the target odor, followed by a trained indication, for example, sitting or lying down at the source of the strongest scent. In discussing the strategy for a cadaver search, Zarrella addresses the timing and strength of rewards for the dog in relation to the outcome of a search, as well as the development of information and a strategy prior to beginning the search.
Main Term(s): Police dogs
Index Term(s): Crime Scene Investigation; Death investigations; Homicide investigations; Investigative techniques; Police dog training
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