Banner is not your average Labrador Retriever. He’s the only K-9 in Alabama (and one of 19 in the United States) trained to detect electronic media devices like small memory cards and other storage devices. These devices are frequently used as evidence in “cases of child pornography, financial crimes, and other illegal computer activity” (original news source from al.com).
When investigators find probable cause and obtain search warrants, they will search the premises for devices that predators often use to hide their illegal activity. Following their search, Lt. Donny Shaw said that Banner will search the scene to catch any devices investigators may have missed. Investigators say that one device may be critical for a successful prosecution.
As NBC News reported, in the case of the former Subway Star Jared Fogle, a similar black Labrador named Bear was crucial to that investigation and important for Fogle’s arrest on child pornography charges. Bear sniffed out a thumb drive that investigators missed.
Banner lives and works with Deputy Cathy Davis, an investigator for Alabama’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). Banner is a year and a half old and is the newest member of the Madison County sheriff’s office.
The ASEA Advance Life Foundation funded Banner’s training through O.U.R., which was close to $11,000. We are proud to work with ASEA to help empower law enforcement to have resources to identify predators through innovative and effective techniques.
Shaw said that Banner will also be available to help other agencies in their investigations. Shaw said, “We’ll be proud to assist and to take these predators off our streets.”
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