On December 8, Frederick Health, the largest healthcare provider in Frederick County, teamed up with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) to host a visit for K9 Officer Duke, the newest crimefighting asset in the county. Duke is an Electronic Storage Detection (ESD) K9; his handler is SAO Investigator Justin Walters. Duke is one of only 100 dogs nationwide, and one of only two in Maryland, trained explicitly as an ESD K9.

ESD K9s are trained to detect and alert their handler to the presence of a chemical compound found on all electronic circuit boards, called triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO). Examples of electronics with circuit boards include laptops, cell phones, and hard drives.

The ESD K9 team will focus on investigations of the Frederick County Cyber Crimes Task Force, which handles Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) cases within the county. K9 Duke and his handler will be a tremendous asset in ensuring that digital devices are successfully recovered during the execution of search warrants.

SAO Investigator Walters commented, “It is such a rewarding feeling to know that K9 Duke and I will help make a difference in bringing justice to some of the most innocent and vulnerable victims.”

Duke was at the Frederick Health Hospital beginning at 3:00 p.m. on December 12. He visited with pediatric patients, the Forensic Nursing team, and the IT department. The State’s Attorney’s Office often works closely with Frederick Health’s Forensic Nurses when processing sensitive cases.

“The Frederick Health Forensic Nursing team is proud to work collaboratively with the State’s Attorney’s Office and has done so for years. Our joint efforts help to protect this community,” said Pam Holtzinger, the Forensic Nurse supervisor at Frederick Health.

To learn more about Frederick Health, visit www.frederickhealth.org.

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