ATF Accelerant Detection K-9 Retires
Responds To More Than 960 Fires During Career
SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Special Agent in Charge Stephen C. Herkins announced ATF Accelerant Detection Canine (K-9) Rosie is retiring after nearly a decade of service.
Rosie, a White Labrador Retriever, was born on Dec 22, 2001, and joined the ATF Team in June 2003. Prior to coming to ATF Rosie worked for Guiding Eyes for the Blind of New York. Rosie graduated from the ATF accelerant detection K-9 school in Front Royal, VA, on Dec 12, 2003, and was assigned to Santa Clara Chief Investigator Dennis Johnsen. Rosie and Investigator Johnsen became great partners immediately since K-9′s and their handlers are paired up based on their physical size and personality. They lived, ate, breathed and worked together for about nine years and were inseparable on and off duty.
During Rosie’s tenure she established an amazing record. She responded to 960 fires, including eight that were worked by the ATF National Response Team (NRT). The NRT is activated on significant fires and explosive incidents that have a major impact. The NRT is a team made up of highly skilled veteran agents, forensic mappers, fire protection engineers, electrical engineers and forensic chemists.
Rosie has appeared at trials with partner Johnsen speaking on her behalf on numerous occasions, and was instrumental in the successful prosecution of 40 arson cases resulting in convictions. She has also played an important part in obtaining four homicide convictions.
ATF Canines use a food reward eating regiment which requires them to be hand fed 11 times a day while working. Johnsen determined that Rosie has conducted 87,600 alerts during her career, and therefore has bent down to reward her with food 87,600 times. Rosie has eaten about 4,300 pounds’ of food during her career, but remains in excellent shape from continuous exercise along with Johnsen who engages in marathon bike riding.
Course Developer and K-9 Trainer Charles “Bucky” Simpson said, “We use Labradors because they love to eat, please, and work. Labradors are the number one breed in the United States and there are lots of them.”
Rosie has made a major contribution to law enforcement and will now enjoy her free time and has a permanent home with Johnsen since he has adopted her. Their friendship will continue.
Chief Johnsen said “We have an excellent working relationship with ATF and the Canine Program has added a tremendous tool for fighting the crime of arson. Rosie is a very special dog and her hard work will now be rewarded with a great retirement package, not having to work for her food …”
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating arson violations. More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.
SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives