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K-9 Deputy Nitro joins the DuPage County Sheriff’s Canine Unit

Nitro is a 3-year-old German Shepherd-Belgian Malmois mix trained to detect more than 250 types of explosives, officials said.

Nitro posing with his handler Deputy Frank Carragher.
Explosive-sniffing K-9 Nitro – posing with his handler Deputy Frank Carragher – is trained to detect more than 250 different kinds of explosives.
DuPage County Sheriff’s Office

The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday they are welcoming a new addition to their office’s Canine Unit.

Nitro, a 3-year-old German Shepherd-Belgian Malmois mix, has been trained to detect more than 250 kinds of explosives, including gun powder, the sheriff’s office said. He has been training and living with his handler, Deputy Frank Carragher, since June 21 and will eventually be stationed at the DuPage County Courthouse.

His first test is this week as he participates in a county-wide canine sweep of the Medinah Country Club during the Western Golf Association Open Championship, the sheriff’s office said. Once he joins the courthouse he and Carragher will work closely with Canine Deputy Jewel and her handler, Deputy Ken Diebert, who are both retiring early next year.

Nitro is a passive alert dog, meaning that when he detects an explosive he sits and points rather than behaving in a way that might disturb or detonate a device, the sheriff’s office said.

“This dog will proactively seek out bombs and guns. We’ll use it for those acts of violence but the biggest value of a bomb dog is what it prevents,” Sheriff James Mendrick said. “It’s hard to quantify something that doesn’t happen but Nitro is there to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Nitro will become the fourth member of a canine unit expected to double in its size in the coming months, the sheriff’s office said. Four additional dogs are currently being trained to sniff out drugs and cadavers and will join the unit once training is completed.

“All of these dogs are our tools in our fight against opioids and to quell, control and prevent mass violence events,” Mendrick said.