D.C. Police Add Sharp-Nosed Four-Legged Member To Ranks | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Police Add Sharp-Nosed Four-Legged Member To Ranks

Play associated audio
Sam the bloodhound is the Metropolitan Police Department's newest recruit.
WAMU/Martin Austermuhle
Sam the bloodhound is the Metropolitan Police Department's newest recruit.

D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department introduced their newest recruit today, and he's got a nose for the job.

Sam is kinda short, a little lazy, and he smells. But that's the point: he's a bloodhound, the police department's first, and he's been brought on to help find missing people. It's a task Police Chief Cathy Lanier says he's perfect for.

"When people ask me why Sam is so special, you have to think of Sam as kind of a detective," says Lanier. "So he is the advanced version of our canine, and he will actually go and investigate, and track, and look for a missing person who may have Alzheimer's, a missing child who may be lost in either an urban or in a wooded area."

Soon to be two, Sam's been training for the task since he was eight weeks old. Purchased for $8,000 from a specialized trainer in Virginia, he will join the 42 shepherds and Labradors on the K-9 unit that sniff out everything from explosives to escapees.

Sgt. Johnnie Walter, Sam's keeper on the department's K-9 unit, says bloodhounds are biologically tailored for the task.

"Their olfactory senses are so much stronger than any other animal, and this is the oldest tracking breed there is, they've been around for 1,000 years," says Walter.

In his short time on the force, he's already tracked down two missing people, one who jumped on a bus and traveled across town. He also managed to find Lanier, who hid in a courtyard at MPD headquarters to test Sam's skillful smelling.

Lanier sees another upside to Sam's recruitment: he's pretty adorable.

"He's kinda got that look, don't you think? Maybe he'll be our real McGruff, our four-legged McGruff. "

Sam is expected to remain on the force for eight or nine years.

NPR

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Women and minorities continue to be under-represented on TV and in film, both behind and in front of the camera, according to a new study — even though diverse films and shows make more money.
NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Is The Battle Won And Done For Those Who Fought For Net Neutrality?

In a 3-2 vote on Feb. 26, the FCC approved new rules, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mat Honan, San Francisco bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, about the political implications of the vote.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.