Shawnee Co. DA’s office welcomes new dog trained to detect electronic evidence

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 3:50 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Shawnee County District Attorney’s office has a new, four-legged, furry employee named Goose, who joins DA Michael Kagay’s office assisting in the fight against sex trafficking, exploitation and child sex crimes.

Goose holds a special power: His ability to sniff out electronic devices. More specifically, storage devices that contain SD cards. These devices include cell phones, hard drives, even hidden cameras. He’s able to catch the devices by smelling a chemical spray that is undetectable by humans, but are required for SD cards to prevent them from overheating.

Bradley Barrett, a detective in the District Attorney’s office and Goose’s handler, heard about a program by Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit organization fighting against child trafficking. Barrett then told Kagay about the idea of bringing one to Topeka.

“I was intrigued,” Kagay said. “I think this is a great resource. Anytime we have a new process, something that we’ve not had available before, I think it’s incumbent on us to at least consider it. I was really interested.”

Barrett says it is important to have an asset like Goose helping with searches, saying small devices, like SD cards, can easily go overlooked.

“You can have micro SD cards that can hold a terabyte of data. I mean, we’re talking about thousands upon tens-of-thousands upon hundreds-of-thousands of photos that can be stored on one itty bitty little thing,” Barrett said. “If you’re searching the entire house for this, it’s going to be extremely hard to find. But having an asset such as Goose [to be able] to help us locate these hidden devices to make sure we collect all the evidence because at the end of the day, we want to make sure we do all we can to stop the exploitation.”

Barrett says after Goose’s shifts, he is a playful, loving, family dog that enjoys treats and toys.