GREENVILLE CO., S.C. (WSPA) — The community was introduced Tuesday to Greenville County Sheriff’s Office new K-9.
Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown will introduce “Queue,” a 2-year-old labrador retreiver, at a news conference.
Queue is an electronic detection K-9 assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
The K9 specializes in sniffing out electronics based on a chemical that media storage devices are made with.
“Cell phones, computers, hard drives, anything that will store media, that chemical is in it,” explained Sgt. Mike Rainey, Queue’s handler.
That’s why Queue will be the first K9 in the state to work with the Internet Crimes Against Children unit.
Investigators said she will go into homes where child pornography is suspected and locate hidden devices that may be storing those images and videos.
“She is a dog that is very capable of finding small items that we would normally miss in a search warrant,” said Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown.
Captain James Beaver in the Specialized Investigations Division explained that some SD cards and thumb drives can hold more than 200,000 images.
“In 2017-2018 we did 40 separate search warrants regarding child pornography. It’s a big deal, it’s a big problem,” said Beaver.
The K9, worth about $25,000, was donated to the sheriff’s department by Defenders for Children. The Upstate organization works to prevent and break cycles of child abuse.
“These are children being raped, being hurt in ways that we cannot imagine,” said Toni Clark, the organization’s founder.
She said she chose Greenville County to make the donation to because it had the highest rate of sexual abuse in the state.
“These kids need to be found,” said Clark. “One missed device can rescue a child, could be the device that’s needed to rescue a child or prosecute that criminal.”