Operation Underground Railroad supports law enforcement agencies across the United States by providing tools and resources needed to effectively fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. Our Electronic Storage Device (ESD) detection K9 program is one of the ways O.U.R. strives to empower the brave individuals in law enforcement with more tools.
ESD detection K9s are specially trained to recognize the unique chemical scent of electronic storage devices, such as USB drives, hard drives and SIM cards. Often used to store child sexual abuse material, these small storage devices are easily hidden by predators and difficult to locate during search warrants by human investigators alone. The ESD detection K9s’ ability to quickly locate evidence during investigations is immensely helpful in prosecuting offenders and identifying survivors.
K9 Chewie helps on a search warrant in Riverside, CA
O.U.R. collaborates with Jordan Detective K9 to train Labrador Retrievers as ESD detection K9s. Todd Jordan, the company’s owner, program developer and chief trainer, has over 20 years of experience training K9s to assist in special investigations. He uses a variety of training methods to ensure the K9s complete searches using the same technique every time.
Members from O.U.R., Jordan Detection K9, and Hope Center Indy all break ground together at the location of the new training facility where the dogs from Jordan Detection K9 will be housed and trained.
Once the dogs are thoroughly trained, they are assigned to officers in various locations who specialize in human trafficking and child exploitation investigations. O.U.R. has sponsored more than 20 K9s across the country that have helped in countless search warrants and investigations. The K9s also sit in on police interviews with many rescued victims to help them stay calm in otherwise stressful situations.
"Chewie has brought an entirely new dimension to the overall success of our team. He serves not only as a valuable search tool, but he has taken on the additional role of “comfort dog” on scenes where we encounter children. He has also provided a measurable impact directly to our team members since he has oftentimes been a source of relief and deflection subsequent to the type of cases we work, especially when it involves rescuing a child from a horrible environment. I can speak on behalf of my entire team and say, Chewie has been one of the best partners to work with." - Joel, Investigator in California
K9 Chip, located in Washington
“Chip has been monumental in locating evidence that we as investigators have missed. Chip has saved the day on more than one occasion in which critical digital evidence was missed, only to be found by Chip on his follow up search. Chip has also served as a welcome distraction in our office from the dark work my team has to endure. Lastly, Chip has comforted many victims, in particular juveniles, during the difficult processes of victim interviews...The protection of children from exploitation is the hardest and greatest thing I have ever done in my life. It is a great and noble undertaking, of which Chip and I are honored to be a part of.” - Rob, Law Enforcement Officer in Washington
The feedback of our law enforcement partners has been overwhelmingly positive, and we hope to continue to expand this program so that every state is equipped with an ESD K9. Thank you to all of our incredible K9s and their handlers for helping fight against human trafficking and child exploitation!
The estimated cost to acquire and train a dog is approximately $15,000.
Thank you for wanting to sponsor one of our K9s! Generally, we obtain and train K9s on an as-needed basis. If there is a particular area with a need for a K9 unit, then we would begin looking for sponsors.
K9 needs in specific areas are best left to the judgment of your local law enforcement leaders. If your law enforcement agency is interested in being a part of this program, please contact us at email@example.com or visit the Jordan Detection K9 website for more information.
O.U.R. does not acquire the dogs, as this is usually done through our contractors. O.U.R.'s role is to provide funding for the continual training and care for the K9s.