World’s first electronics-sniffing K-9, a Conn. police dog, dies

K-9 Selma hit the beat in 2013 to detect an isolated compound found on memory boards in phones and computers


By Christine Dempsey
Hartford Courant

HARTFORD — The world’s first electronics-sniffing police dog, state police K9 Selma, has died, according to the Connecticut State Police.

She died of medical problems on Wednesday, troopers said.

Selma became the first electronics storage device detection K9 on Oct. 4, 2013. The dogs are trained to detect certain chemicals in electronics that criminals may toss or hide.

Such dogs “can track anything from a USB to a cellphone to a laptop,” Trooper Pedro Muniz said Thursday.

For example, he said, if a suspect has child porn on a hard drive hidden behind a wall, the specially-trained dogs can find it. Or if a suspect crashes a car, tosses a cellphone into the woods and runs away, the K9s can smell the device just like they would a missing kid or drugs.

[RELATED: The nose knows: How electronic detection dogs are helping bust bad guys]

The Connecticut State Police K9 Unit is the first in the world to train dogs in the detection of computer equipment. A chemist at the state forensic lab, Dr. Jack Hubbal, isolated a chemical compound that surrounds memory boards in all phones and computers, and another compound that was discovered on DVDs, CDs and floppy disks. K9 trainers used the two compounds to train computer K9 teams to search for electronic devices, the state police said.

Selma and her handler, Det. George Jupin, were graduates of the 161st K9 Training Troop. They were assigned to the Computer Crimes Unit.

Selma is the third police dog in the state to die recently. On Saturday, Enfield’s high-achieving K9, Nova, died, and Bristol police announced Tuesday that K9 Murphy died.

©2022 Hartford Courant. Visit courant.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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