JOLIET – Will County investigators will have a new tool to sniff out evidence of child pornography and other crimes.
The High Technology Crimes Unit has obtained Cache, a 75-pound black Labrador trained to find electronic devices, which State’s Attorney James Glasgow said frequently are hidden when searching a suspect’s home.
Many commonly used electronic storage devices, such as hard drives and thumb drives, are manufactured with a proprietary chemical that Cache and other labs have been trained to react to – just like some police canines are trained to find drugs or explosives.
“Someone thinks they’re being clever [hiding items] or else we go in and the house is just a mess from hoarding, but a dog’s sense of smell is so incredible, you can’t comprehend what they can pick up,” Glasgow said.
Glasgow recalled child pornography cases where SIM cards were found hidden under carpets and behind walls.
Cache was purchased from Todd Jordan, an Indiana firefighter and dog handler who developed the training program, using seized funds. One of Jordan’s other dogs found hidden equipment used against former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle, who was convicted of child pornography and sexual abuse charges, Glasgow said.
“When Cache stands up [on his hind legs] he’s 6-feet tall, so he’s got quite a search range,” Glasgow said.
Cache will be handled by High Technology Crimes Unit Investigator Megan Brooks and live with Brooks and her family, Glasgow said. Brooks and Cache will be training together for several weeks and the dog is expected to be available for searches starting next month.
“If there are law enforcement agencies where [an electronics] search is needed, the dog will be available,” Glasgow said.
In addition to Cache, the state’s attorney’s office has four therapy dogs – Jackson, Malley, Kiwi and Angus – to provide comfort to child abuse victims. Kiwi and Angus are trained to assist children while they testify in court.
“I have always loved dogs. Every night when I come home from work, they are there to greet me without fail. They are always there to provide unconditional love without request,” Glasgow said. “The dogs that work in my office have been embraced by my staff as well as all those who visit. They also provide important therapeutic services to crime victims and other individuals who struggle with addictions and mental health issues.”