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Greenville Police Department gets bomb-detection dog - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Greenville Police Department gets bomb-detection dog

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

The Boston Marathon bombings prompted security changes across the country.

Now, a new member of the Greenville police force is making sure the same thing doesn't happen here.

"Nitro" the bomb-detection dog is the first of his kind in Greenville. Don't be surprised if you see him sniffing around at the next ECU football game.

After a six-week grueling training course, the 18-month-old Malinois from Austria and his handler, Officer Bobby Parker, are ready to hit the streets. They'll not only respond to bomb threats but they will also patrol football games, sporting events, fairs and carnivals.

Officer Parker has handled narcotics dogs for 8 years but he says training a bomb-detection dog is a whole different world.

"The bomb dogs are methodical in their search. They'll go around and they'll sit where they pick up a scent. They're not going to come off that until you go over there and you either pay them or you literally have to pull them off of where it is," said Parker.

Nitro will regularly be around thousands of people so he is a little friendlier than a typical narcotics dog. That doesn't mean he can't pack a powerful punch.

"He's a dual purpose dog. He'll do tracking, criminal apprehension, and handler protection," said Parker.

The Boston bombing and the Greenville mass shooting were proof that tragedy can strike anywhere…even in our own backyard.

"I think [the dog] is a deterrent for people trying to do something. You look at Greenville and we've got ECU here, the hospital and Pitt Community College. Any town where you have that many people in such a small area has the potential for some type of disaster, hopefully not, but there's always that potential there," said Parker.

The duo is dedicated to keeping the bad guys away.

Nitro won't be the only bomb-detection dog in the area for long. The ECU police department will also have one.

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