The Maneater

MUPD adopts bomb-sniffing dog

The new bomb sniffing dog Brass is helping MUPD keep campus protected from future bomb threats.

MU Police Department’s new bomb sniffing dog, Brass, is throwing MU students a bone.

MUPD adopted Brass so it can respond to bomb threats more efficiently and confirm whether there are any explosive objects on campus when, if ever, MU has another bomb threat. Weimer reflected on April’s incident and said Brass would have been a resource that MUPD could have used.

MUPD went a year without having a bomb sniffing dog by its side after their last dog became too senile for the job and had to retire, Weimer said.

Weimer said MUPD is excited to have the new police dog on the force.

“Due to staffing we weren’t able to replace (the bomb sniffing dog) right away,” MUPD Maj. Brian Weimer said. “Once staffing was returned, and we also received some funding from a community member. We were able to do it.”

Brass lives with his handler, MUPD Officer Joan Haaf.

A bomb detecting dog like Brass costs more than $9,000, and dogs like Brass are even being trained in the military for counter-terrorist efforts. After intense and proper training, canines are often utilized by both police and the United States military.

Brass was trained at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. Shallow Creek Kennels has trained K-9s for police departments in over 20 US states including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Special Reaction Teams and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On April 22, there was a bomb threat at MU, which lead to the evacuation of the Student Center and Memorial Union. The bomb scare made some students wonder about their protection from bombs and what precautions are taking place.

“I do think it is very possible … I guess any university (a bomb threat) would be possible at. But definitely somewhere like the Student Center where it’s heavily populated, I would guess would be a target area,” MU junior Alex Raffini said. Brass being on MUPD's team makes MU some students, such as Raffini, feel more protected against the threat of a bombing on campus. “I was just listening to the radio this morning actually, and they were talking about dogs sniffing out technology and things like that,” Raffini said. “So I was like, ‘That’s pretty cool’ I mean, we should have that.” It seems like Brass could be MU’s new best friend.

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