The unit is comprised of six Accelerant Detection Canine (ADC) teams and one Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) team.
Accelerant Detection Canines
In 1998, the Bureau implemented an Accelerant Detection K-9 program with financial and technical support from State Farm Insurance Company. This mutually beneficial partnership was established in an effort to enhance the investigators’ ability to identify evidence of liquid accelerants utilized by arsonists and has been functioning well since its inception. Currently, the Bureau has six Accelerant Detection K-9 teams located statewide.
The majority of canines in the State Farm Arson Dog Program are Labrador Retrievers obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, or certified companion programs. The program uses Labrador Retrievers because Labs have a superior ability to discriminate among scents at a fire scene. Their noses can smell in parts per quintillion. Labs generally have a gentle disposition, a “love to work” attitude, and an outgoing personality. The K9s are trained using a food reward method and the teams are required to recertify annually.
Captain Ross Holt & ADC Ember
Team Commander - Plantation
Detective Jeff Batz & ADC Booker
Detective Jayson Deese & ADC Brandon
Detective David Young & ADC Fresca
Detective Travis Kincaid & ADC Bailey
Detective Amelia Hitchcock & ADC Penzy
Explosives Detection Canine
K9 Bella is a two year old German Shepherd. She completed an extensive 13 week training program with assistance from the Tampa Police Department’s K-9 Unit. After the initial training, Bella and her handler, Detective Monty Taylor, completed the Explosives Detection Canine Team certification through the nationally recognized North American Police Work Dog Association (N.A.P.W.D.A.). K9 Bella's keen sense of smell leads the team to explosives. Once they find the source of the odor, Detective Taylor rewards her with praise, play, and a favorite toy. So even though K9 Bella is doing valuable work, to her it is a fun game of hide and seek.
Detective Monty Taylor & EDC Bella