New Howard County officer has nose for crime

Horton 'nose' who

Police and firefighters are always recruiting new team members.

The newest started Tuesday in Howard County – a crime fighter that never complains about working on weekends or holidays and isn't concerned about a raise.

We were at his graduation ceremony.

He's a little young, just one-year-old, but what he lacks in in experience, he makes up for in energy.

Horton is a golden retriever/labrador mix. He and his partner Lt. Carlton Saunders just completed a five-week arson training.

There were many long days of training, with the team starting as early as 5:30 a.m. It was all in prep for Howard County's current arson investigation K-9 retiring. Horton will take over the position.

Horton's sense of smell is tuned to accelerants.

"Where we can smell spaghetti being cooked, we might be able to pick out one or two ingredients, Horton can sense all the ingredients and tell the exact amount of each ingredient used," Saunders said.

It's a skill officials say is particularly important when investigating arson cases.

"This gives us the ability to expedite our process of investigating a crime scene and investigate in terms of following and bringing charges against somebody," said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon.

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