TBI canines visit Alcatraz East Crime Museum | News

PIGEON FORGE — Canines trained to detect odors from accelerates used at potential crime scenes visited Alcatraz East Crime Museum Thursday as part of the attraction’s current temporary Tennessee Bureau of Investigation exhibit.

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The TBI has four accelerant detection canines spread out across the state to respond to fire scenes with questionable origins. Three of those highly trained dogs were at the attraction for the event, including Canine Faith, who is partnered with Special Agent Mark Delaney.

“She works fire scenes looking for ignitable liquids, so any liquid that you can pour on the ground and start a fire with — kerosene, gasoline, Coleman fuel, diesel,” Delaney said. “There’s six core odors they’re trained to detect and in those core odors there’s hundreds of actual products they could detect.”

The other dogs at the event included Canine Millie with Special Agent Ryan Shanklin and Canine Diesel with Special Agent Justin Ramsey. The fourth accelerant detection canine, Honey, wasn’t available. TBI also has a canine trained in electronics detection.

“(Canine Faith) works fire investigations, so if there’s a house that burns to the ground that’s a suspicious fire, they’ll call us in and we’ll search those houses and that fire scene looking for the presence of ignitable liquids which could indicate the presence of an arson or a criminal act,” Delaney said.

“They’re very quick at what they do. Their work helps us streamline the investigation. What would take us days to go in and dig out a scene and try to find out where gasoline has been poured, they can find it in seconds.”

These highly trained working dogs aren’t just partnered with their special agents, they also live with them and their families. Faith, who is five years old, has been with Delaney since December 2017. She is trained to be rewarded through food for completing her tasks. All her food, including her regular meals, is fed to her by Delaney, by hand.

The temporary exhibit doesn’t just feature the canines working with the TBI. It also includes information on the founding of the agency and the roles of TBI’s agents, forensic examiners and analysts.

“We just want to highlight what the TBI is doing so that the community is aware of what goes on behind the scenes,” said Candice Cook, Alcatraz East director of operations.

“There are cold cases, there’s local crimes that the TBI focuses on that have been cold for decades, but they are still working on them.”

The TBI exhibit has been on display since July and is expected to stay at the museum into the fall. The attraction is located at 2757 Parkway.

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