WILL COUNTY, Ill. — Prosecutors nationwide are turning to an old remedy to tackle new, digital-age crimes. And the crimes are serious, like child pornography.
Law enforcement is using dogs to get the job done.
Will County is the first to use the dogs in the state of Illinois. And the county’s top prosecutor says these crimes that have gone before a judge in years past have a conviction rate of 100%. That’s if they have all the evidence against the offender. But getting that evidence is often the hardest part. Clever criminals are hiding small, usually discreet, electronic recording devices in the most unsuspecting places.
That is where canines like Cache come in.
Cache is Will County’s secret weapon. He’s 2-years-old, 75 pounds and was given up twice by previous owners. Cache the black lab mix is the Will County high tech crimes unit’s undeniable work horse. He has one job: Sniffing out evidence that ties traffickers to child pornography.
Cache isn’t sniffing out illicit underage images on a screen. He is sniffing out the devices used to record or store them like SD cards, thumb drives and phones. The items contain a proprietary chemical with a very distinct scent that humans can’t pick up, but a dog can.
It takes four months to train these dogs, twice as long as accelerant canines. They need to be worked at least an hour a day to keep them busy and fresh.
Will County State’s Attorney, James Glasgow is a real dog lover. He’s got three dogs at home himself.
“I never thought I’d be employing five dogs,” he says.
In addition to Cache, there are four therapy dogs that help relax witnesses, often kids testifying before a judge.
Cache has not been used in a Will County case yet, but they say, he’s ready.