MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Police Department added two new recruits to their team Thursday, April 30th. Like many on the force, they're tough and they're smart, but their biggest advantage is not like any other -- it's their sense of smell.
At the Police Academy Training Center, two of the newest K9 team members were hard at work -- taking part in training Thursday.
K9 officers Zender and Murdock are trained to sniff out bombs or explosives.
Murdock was donated to MPD while Zender comes to Milwaukee by way of the military.
"They didn't spare much cost in training him, you can tell by the way he freezes," said Craig Leffler, K9 handler.
Both dogs indicate a presence of odor by sitting or freezing until their handler rewards them.
"Drug dogs, they actually indicate aggressively. They scratch, and you don't want an explosive dog to do that. You want them to sit, be passive, or just freeze and lock," said Joe Warren, K9 handler.
With risks everywhere in the world, these bomb sniffing dogs and explosives detection canine teams are an unfortunate necessity.
"This helps us protect the citizens of Milwaukee," said Steve Caballero, K9 handler.
Both Zender and Murdock have gone through extensive training and have spent months with their handlers. On Thursday, April 30th, they officially become members of the team.
The Bomb Squad commander says Milwaukee needed explosive detecting K9s because of the city's major festivals including Summerfest -- and to help protect Milwaukee's international port. These K9s will also be involved in presidential visits to Milwaukee and they'll be used during sporting events both at Miller Park and the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
If you'd like to help all of the MPD K9's, there is a K9 blood drive on Saturday, May 9th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the MPD's Neighborhood Task Force building, 4715 W. Vliet Street. Visit mpdk9foundation.org for more information.