The Office of the State Fire Marshal added a new member to its roster today. K-9 “Paulie” and her partner, Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Chris McIntyre, graduated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives National Canine Division Training Center in Front Royal, Virginia.
K-9 Paulie, a 17-month-old Labrador retriever, has been conditioned to detect explosives, explosives residue, and post-blast evidence.
K-9 Paulie was hand selected by ATF trainers from Puppies Behind Bars. This program pairs inmates with puppies to teach the dogs basic commands.
Paulie can detect firearms and ammunition that are hidden in containers, vehicles, or on people. During a 10-week training academy, Paulie learned to detect a vast number of explosives and firearms. While the ATF training program focuses on explosives detection, K9s that complete the program also are conditioned to detect smokeless powder and other explosive fillers often used in firearms.
Paulie will support the mission of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the ATF, and other state and local law enforcement agencies that need their services. Their duties will include searching crime scenes, assisting with the service of search warrants, and assisting with protective sweeps for explosives at all community events.
Senior Deputy McIntyre and K-9 Paulie are assigned to the Lower Eastern Regional Office in Salisbury; however, they are available to respond statewide.
“Paulie is a cutie, but she is also a highly-trained member of our agency who will keep the residents and visitors of Maryland safe,” State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said. “We are excited to welcome Paulie to the Department of State Police.”
This team joins one other explosive detection team and four accelerant detection canine teams already in service within the agency. The Office of the State Fire Marshal has primarily used ATF-trained canines for nearly 20 years. It has one of the most robust fire and explosive canine programs in the United States.