New nose in Carbondale to help detect arson

New nose in Carbondale to help detect arson
By: Carly O'Keefe
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Arson is one of the toughest crimes to prove; but the Carbondale fire department has a new nose on the case. Thanks to a three-year-old a half golden retriever half Labrador dog named "Pal", they'll have an easier time finding evidence of whether a fire has been intentionally set.
"He'll sniff out the ignitable liquid, or the residue of ignitable liquid, by sitting and pointing with his nose," said Handler fire fighter Jay Crippen.
As an arson dog, Pal can detect even the tiniest drop of accelerant. In investigating a potential arson fire--fire fighters narrow down where the fire started, and pal tells them if something was used to start it.
"He might find something we didn't feel was an intentionally set fire and then he leads us down a different path and we discover that it was," said Crippen. "So it could be a big advantage to get him into every fire."
Of course, just like his human counterparts, a lot of training goes into being able to detect arson. So every day pal's nose gets a work out. Crippen places drops of a flammable liquid on the ground and then it's Pal's job to find the exact spot where the liquid was applied.
"He is able to get within inches of where we put down samples on our training," said Crippen.
Between training and fire calls, Pal is just one of the guys at the firehouse; and he's a very valuable member of the team.
"He's a tool to help us find the evidence, and he helps us do a better job by sending more efficient samples to the crime lab," said Crippen. "We're able to send better results and less samples to get those results using the K9 so he's a definite asset to our department."