Police Dogs are Being Trained to Help Investigators Sniff Out What?

The answer: Cybercrime.

Police dogs are known for their ability to detect various drugs, explosives, accelerants, they can even locate both living victims and the remains of a deceased human. As it turns out, they can also ‘sniff’ out cybercrime.

The key is a common chemical used in all electronic storage devices: triphenylphosphine oxide, or TPPO. This chemical is harder to locate that narcotics, bombs, fire accelerants, or people. That is why only one out of every 50 dogs trained is qualified to become an electronic storage detection, or ESD, dog. These dogs must be motived by food, have high energy, and the ability to take risk. The K9’s are trained by smelling TPPO before they are fed. This trains the dog to associate the chemical with food. Labradors have a natural high energy level and large appetite, making them ideal breeds for ESD work.

These dogs are helping law enforcement find evidence of child pornography and other white-collar crimes that are hidden within hard drives, SD cards, and cell phones. Investigators often bring their ESD dogs into rooms with floor to ceiling clutter. What took investigators hours to find, the dogs found in less than ten minutes. “The most famous case occurred in 2015, when a Labrador retriever named Bear found a hidden flash drive containing child pornography in the home of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. The district attorney called the discovery vital to Fogle's conviction.”

Currently, there are an estimated 17 electronic storage detection dogs sniffing out cybercrime in the United States, but with cybercrime on a continues rise, more ESD dogs will be trained.

At Extract, our software isn’t trained on food and smell association, it is trained using machine learning to better capture discrete data fields from unstructured documents. Our software will accurately learn as it reviews more of your documents, reducing the amount of human attention needed to set our proprietary rules engine.

If you’d like to learn more about Extract, and how we can help with these problems, please reach out today and we’d be happy to get in touch with you.


About the Author: Taylor Genter

Taylor is the Marketing Specialist at Extract with experience in data analytics, graphic design, and both digital and social media marketing.  She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. Taylor enjoys analyzing people’s behaviors and attitudes to find out what motivates them, and then curating better ways to communicate with them.