SCMPD adds first gun sniffing dog - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD adds first gun sniffing dog

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What has four legs and trains with guns?

Ziggy, a Dutch Shepherd dog, is the newest member of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept.'s K-9 unit.

It is the first dog in the department that is trained to search for anything and everything associated with guns, including bullets and gun powder.

"Ziggy is a single purpose dog," said K-9 officer Mike Drayton.

Unlike his fellow four legged colleagues, Ziggy is not considered one of the regular patrol dogs.

"They are not looking for explosive odor; they are looking for human odor," said Drayton.

Ziggy demonstrated his skills after police hid several .36 caliber bullets in a grassy field that had been fired more than six months ago. It only took him a matter of minutes to find them.

Police said Ziggy's skills will make their job more efficient when they are investigating a shooting.  

"We could have five officers out there for an hour at night time with flashlights looking for these shell casings and may not ever find anything," said K-9 Supervisor Eric Durkarski.

Before Ziggy, SCMPD had to rely on the Chatham County Sheriff's Office to bring their gun sniffing dogs out to crime scenes.

"We would ask for the Sheriff's Department to come out, but they only worked daytime, so in the evening we would have to wait for them to come from their house," said Dukarski.

Now they can depend upon Ziggy who lives with his trainer Officer Mike Drayton, who also has another patrol dog.

But Ziggy didn't always know this would be his career path.

"Officer Drayton had Ziggy as his personal dog, but he knew the dog needed to do some type of work, so he decided to train it be a gun dog," said Durkarski.

Ziggy is certified through the National K-9 Police Association and is ready to sniff out the crime in Savannah. City Manager Stephanie Cutter has signed off on Ziggy joining the team and he is now ready to be put to work.

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