New tech helps DPS dogs stay safe in heat - Tucson News Now

New tech helps DPS dogs stay safe in heat

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The Arizona Department of Public Safety is using technology to help ensure the safety of its K9s during the torrid Arizona summer heat. (Source: CBS 5 News) The Arizona Department of Public Safety is using technology to help ensure the safety of its K9s during the torrid Arizona summer heat. (Source: CBS 5 News)
"The K9 has been implanted with a chip and that reads his core body temperature, and it gives that information to us in an app on the cellphone," explained DPS Officer Brian Greene. (Source: CBS 5 News) "The K9 has been implanted with a chip and that reads his core body temperature, and it gives that information to us in an app on the cellphone," explained DPS Officer Brian Greene. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Nico is a well-trained Department of Public Safety officer. He goes through weekly suspect take-down techniques, bomb-detection practice and even helps with traffic stops. The only thing that makes him different from his human handler is he's a dog.

Now, the department is using new technology that allows Nico's human partner, DPS Officer Brian Green, to track his internal body temperature. During the summer in Arizona, Green says this technology is critical to maintaining his four-legged partner's safety.

"The K9 has been implanted with a chip and that reads his core body temperature, and it gives that information to us in an app on the cellphone," explained Greene. 

Right now, DPS is one of just two police agencies nationwide that is using the system. A chip implanted in the neck of the dog relays in real time the internal temperature to a phone on the dog's vest. That phone wirelessly transfers the information to another phone carried by the dog's handler.

"We started this pilot program in November," explained Greene.

"As (the dogs) are out there in this climate where it's 107 (degrees), it takes a very small amount of time before (they're) reaching the dangerous (internal) levels of 105 to 106 (degrees)," Green said.

He added that information from the app gives them "another degree or two to go so we can give (the dogs) the care needed."

Three DPS dogs are part of the trial program. If it's successful, the department could implant chips in all of their 24 K9s. The cost per dog is approximately $6,000.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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