New K9 officer joins TBI to fight crime
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new member on the team that will help with fighting crimes, including child exploitation.
Meet Zeus. He’s the newest officer with the TBI.
K9’s have always been a vital part of helping law enforcement fight crime, but this 2-year-old Labrador retriever is trained to locate electronic storage devices, like flash drives or SD cards.
“Something this small that a perpetrator tends to hide could be easily done, so that’s where Zeus comes in,” said Special Agent Derek Miller with TBI’s Technical Services Unit.
The human eye won’t catch everything, so Zeus is trained to detect the chemical compounds commonly found in these devices.
Electronic storage devices consist of something like a flash drive, hard drive and even micro SD cards less than a millimeter thick, and detecting these devices becomes essential especially when it comes to fighting child exploitation.
“A small Micro SD card that can fit on my thumb, can [hold] about 200,000 high resolution images,” Miller said. “So it’s paramount to our investigation that we find these cards in a child exploitation case.”
Prior to joining the TBI, the K9 was raised by Paws with a Cause, a non-profit organization that trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities or PTSD.
When he’s not working on cases, Zeus will also serve as a comfort companion for both law enforcement and victims of these cases.
“Seeing the images dealing with that day in and day out, they have to have something to assist them, and we have things in place that Zeus is going to add to that,” said TBI Director David Rausch.
The TBI says Zeus and his partner, Special Agent Miller, will be assisting in cases all across the state, focusing on those cases involving internet crimes against children.
Zeus has been with the TBI now for three weeks and continues to get more training every day.
He’s the first electronic storage device K9 for the TBI and the second in the state.