K-9 Heat Alert Systems Warn Officers of Temperatures Inside Vehicles

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- Madison County Sheriff's Office K-9 officer Lina's death in a hot car last week has prompted a discussion about safeguards that law enforcement agencies can put in their vehicles to help keep their K-9 officers safe.

The Bentonville Police Department uses K-9 heat alert systems to help keep their dogs safe while they are in their cages inside the vehicles.

This system, which they've been using for 16 years, lets the K-9 handler know what the temperature is inside the vehicle at all times.

“If the temperature does rise to a certain level it will send a message to the officer if he or she is away from the vehicle and is also programmable to where it would increase the air inside the vehicle, lower the windows or even open the door to let the K-9 out,” said Gene Page, Bentonville Police Department officer.

Page said these devices are a necessity. That's because while it may not feel like it's that hot outside, a K-9 spends most of the day in the vehicle.

“That's the dog's office, that's where he works from,” said Page. "He is in and out of that box all day...in and out, in and out. So we have to keep him comfortable so he can work so that he's alert and healthy."

Annyssa Storlie owns a company called Cold Commander and they install devices in law enforcement vehicles that direct air to the K-9's cage.

“What we do is actually install it into the back air conditioning unit and it redirects all of the air to their cage just by mounting this straight onto the cage,” Storlie said.

They also have another device that goes under the front seat of the vehicle and has two output hoses that attach to the cage.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said they do not have a temperature monitoring system in their K-9 unit vehicles. However, investigators have not released whether there were any other K-9 monitoring devices inside the vehicle.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the K-9 officer's death.

4 comments

  • triamrider

    This is great but in today’s world there is no reason that a dog mounted sensor in the dog’s vest monitored by dispatch could not be used as a backup. Many K9 deaths this year were due to cars being used temporarily that were not K9 equipped. Also this type of sensor could be lower cost for counties like Madison. I hope the story of the investigation into Officer Lina’s tragic death is not being side tracked.

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