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Firearm-sniffing expert K9 Loki joins the police force

Arlington County police have gotten a new best friend, one that’s specifically trained to sniff out firearms.

Earlier this week, the Arlington County Police Department announced they’ve welcomed K9 Loki to the force.

Loki is a nearly two-year-old canine who recently completed his training with handler Corporal Jon Stanley to become the department’s first firearm detection dog. Part of Loki’s training was to learn and get used to the odor associated with firearms.

He joins eight other ACPD “dog teams,” consisting of a canine and a handler.

Loki is currently assigned to the midnight patrol shift, replacing K9 Duke who retired in September after eight years on the force.

“Our main function is to assist the patrol section with K9 support in any case where K9 Loki’s skills may be useful,” Stanley told ARLnow. “First and foremost, our K9s are resourceful in locating evidence. As the department’s first firearm detection dog, K9 Loki will also be used in certain cases to locate firearms and shell casings.”

When he’s not on call for evidence detection, Loki will be exercising, training, and assisting Stanley with patrolling the county’s trails and parks.

Loki had to go through months-long training before hitting the streets, much like any human police recruit needs to do. That includes obedience training as well as other skills he’ll need while on the force.

“As the school progresses, we also introduce and hone all the skills K9 Loki will need to be a successful patrol dog, including evidence searches, suspect tracking, building searches, and criminal apprehension,” Stanley said.

Loki also attended a specialized three-work course specifically focused on firearm detection.

When Loki is not working, he’s home with Stanley and his mentor Duke, the grizzled retired K9 veteran that Loki replaced on the force. It’s been a bit of adjustment, though, for the young canine.

“Prior to being selected by me, K9 Loki spent his life living in a kennel and was not experienced living in a family home environment,” Stanley said. “For the first two weeks, K9 Loki lived in a kennel in my home and was taken out often for rapport building, walks, grooming, and some pre-training in my yard.”

Soon, Loki and Stanley bonded and, within a few weeks, he was allowed to roam the house unsupervised and was being introduced to the humans in the house. On his off days, Loki is like the rest of us and just enjoys his downtime.

“During our days off, K9 Loki is taken on numerous walks around the neighborhood, follows me around the house, naps, and plays in the yard,” said Stanley. “He also enjoys playing with my son and being a typical younger brother to K9 Duke with his playful and youthful energy.”

Arlington County police use canines for a variety of tasks, including patrolling, detecting explosives, and sniffing out narcotics.

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