A Phoenix area police department is trying out a new heat-warning system designed to keep police dogs from overheating when left alone in vehicles.
The Peoria Police Department had the system installed in Officer Aaron Brewer’s patrol car about a month ago to keep the department’s lone police dog, Havoc, safe in high desert temperatures.
If a dog is in the vehicle when a handler removes the keys from the ignition, the system will keep the engine running. If the vehicle’s air-conditioning fails while the handler is away and the temperature rises above 90 degrees, a siren will go off.
Once the alarms sounds, the handler has about 3 minutes to get to the vehicle and disarm it before a message is sent to police dispatch, according to the Arizona Republic. (The system’s alarm is high pitched, to distinguish it from a regular police siren.) If the handler can’t be located, the dispatcher will send officers to the vehicle’s last known location.
Peoria has never had a police dog die from overexposure, but a Chandler K-9 died in August 2007 after his handler forgot to let the dog out of the back of his patrol vehicle, and other jurisdictions have reported deaths as well.
Tellef believes Peoria was the first police department in the country to install this system, which cost about $800.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alarm, arizona, chandler, dispatch, dispatcher, dogs, emergency, Havoc, heat, heat-warning, heat-warning system, K-9, overheating, patrol, peoria, phoenix, police, police departments, police dogs, safety, technology, vehicle