Phoenix arson dog team completes annual certification

Today is an important day for Phoenix Fire Department Captain Rob Simpson and his K-9 Sonny as they completed their annual certification - virtually.

Just like last year, this Phoenix arson dog team is completing its annual training virtually.

Captain Simpson and Sonny were recertified with a national trainer from Maine through the use of virtual technology. This includes Sunny running through a set of blocks, picking up scents, looking for scents on a wheel and a house search.

Arson dog teams are trained to located potential evidence of arson following a fire.

The dog alerts the handler - usually a firefighter of law enforcement official - to the specific location where accelerant like gasoline or oil is detected, and the handler collects the evidence for laboratory testing.

This evidence is essential to an arson investigation and in the prosecution of this deadly crime.

During the recertification, Captain Simpson and Sonny demonstrated their skills and answered questions about their daily training and investigation work. The process itself lasts about 15 minutes.

The K-9 is a Goldadoor - half yellow Labrador and hald Golden Retriever. Sonny turned four last December. 

Sonny and his handler have been a team for two years, and they successfully passed their recertification!

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