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Tucson Police Department Unveils New Training Facility

Posted at 9:09 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 16:52:27-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson Police Department unveiled a new training facility for the K9 unit and the community had a lot to do with it.

In fact, the department was entered into the Aftermath Services social media contest last year. Here, people from all over the United States were given the opportunity to vote online, for the department they felt deserved to win the grant.

Turns out, and the Tucson Police Department’s K9 unit took second place in the country! Now the Tucson Police Department is hoping the community will help them take first place and the perks that come with it.

Sergeant Paul Sheldon, the supervisor of the Tucson Police Department’s K9 unit told KGUN9 this new addition to the department’s training facility is a big accomplishment.

The scent wall is meant to help the K9s focus on the task at hand--to find narcotics.

“The way that the scent wall works is that we are going to put any odor inside of the pvc. Cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, heroine. That’s what we are going to use for the source odor that we want the dog to find. Once the dog alerts properly, the helper will remove the cap, send the ball through. We’re tricking them into believing that that source of odor is their toy and they only get their toy when they find that source of odor,” said Sergeant Sheldon.

This wall was made possible when Aftermath Services had a social media contest last year. Community members voted online and the Tucson Police Department’s K9 unit came out second place in the country and won $4,000.

“It’s a super special feeling when you know you have support. And looking at our facebook page we see an overwhelming amount of support for our handlers and especially our dogs,” he added.

The best part is the community can help them win, again.

“We took second place last year so there’s only one place to go after that. That first place grant is 5,000,” said Sergeant Sheldon.

The contest started October 1st, and will last for a month. If you would like to nominate the Tucson Police Department, click here.