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HomeLocal NewsSt. PaulSt. Paul PD Welcomes Darby, the Gun-Detecting Labrador

St. Paul PD Welcomes Darby, the Gun-Detecting Labrador

14-month-old American Black Lab, Darby, has swiftly proven his value to the St. Paul Police within just a week of starting his unique duty.

“Darby located a firearm here on her very first day,” Officer Sean Higgins proudly exclaimed. Serving as Darby’s handler within the department’s Gang and Gun Unit, Higgins highlighted the pup’s single-purpose role in detecting firearms, ammunition, and gunshot residue.

St. Paul’s pioneering move in Minnesota law enforcement involves Darby becoming the department’s inaugural K9 solely trained for firearms detection, a distinction previously reserved for federal agencies.

Officer Brady Harrison, a K9 trainer with St. Paul PD, shed light on the advantages of a single-purpose dog, emphasizing Darby’s undistracted pursuit of casings, guns, and ammo over human scent.

Unlike traditional patrol dogs trained for diverse tasks including drug and explosives detection, Darby’s sole focus is aiding investigations and executing search warrants within the Gang and Gun Unit.

With gun violence escalating, Sgt. Colleen Rooney, head of the Gang and Gun Unit, emphasized the significance of Darby’s addition in curbing the accessibility of firearms, particularly to children.

Darby’s swift impact was evident when, on his third day, he unearthed crucial bullet fragments at a murder scene, potentially altering the course of the investigation.

Already contemplating expansion, St. Paul Police are considering deploying more canines specialized in firearms detection to further bolster efforts to eliminate illegal guns from the streets.

In the words of Officer Harrison, “Having more dogs and having more noses on the ground to get guns off of our streets, the better.”



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