Orlando, FL Dec. 8, 2022
Orange County Sheriff John Mina announced a new partnership with the Senior Resource Alliance and Scent Evidence K9 to enhance K9 search capabilities for missing persons. The press conference introduced K9 Knight, a scent discriminate Bloodhound donated by Senior Resource Alliance. K9 Knight will be joining the Orange County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit with his brother, K9 Roscoe, who was also donated by SRA. The 2 Bloodhounds were specially trained by Scent Evidence K9 to locate missing persons by using a person’s unique scent.
The partners also announced the implementation of a powerful new Scent Kit program that helps the Bloodhounds and their K9 trailing handlers find missing persons by providing responders with a pre-collected scent article to search with.
Visit The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Scent Kit page to learn more about how the kits work and where to get a kit in the Orange County area.
Florida has the second-largest Alzheimer’s Disease population in the U.S. with over 580,000 residents living with the disease. That number is projected to climb to 720,000 by 2025. Studies show that 60% or 3 of every 5 persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia will wander and go missing. The numbers are almost as high for children with autism. The American Pediatric Association states that 50% of those with children with autism will wander/elope and go missing at least once before age 17.
“The people we want to receive these kits are anyone who has an at-risk family member that may wander. Alzheimer’s patient, dementia, could be a handicapped child,” Orange County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bruce McMullen said.
SRA will distribute 5000 Scent Kits in Orange, Brevard, Osceola, and Seminole counties. SRA has also donated 1500 Scents to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for distribution through their main office and substations.
“Caregivers of our most vulnerable population will be ready with an uncontaminated scent article if the unthinkable happens,” Karla Radka, the CEO of Senior Resource Alliance, said.
1,500 scent collection kits to help Orange County K-9 deputies find missing children, elderly – WFTV 9
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is also a Bringing The Lost Home Program participating agency and receives additional Scent Kit and Scent Discriminate K9 Training resources from Scent Evidence K9 via a Florida legislative bill. Dep. Allan Darcey and K9 Roscoe have multiple missing person recoveries and suspect locations to their credit since they began working together less than a year ago. Dep. Angela Keller and K9 Knight have just completed their training certification and are ready to hit the ground running to find missing persons.
“The partnership between OCSO and SRA is a shining example of how law enforcement responders and community agencies can work together to find a missing or wandering person fast and bring them home safe,” stated Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley.
Coley provides advanced scent discriminate K9 training to K9 teams all over the world and developed the Scent Preservation Kit to give responders the best possible scent article to search with.
“The first hurdle to overcome when the deputies respond in a tracking dog situation is getting that good scent article,” OCSO Police Capt. Bruce McMullen said. “The success rate goes up when you have a good scent article to start with.”
The Scent Kits also include a thumb drive that contains Individual Preparedness Plan materials.
The family can load photos and information about the person before they go missing, which can help searchers. The first responder can use the thumb drive to immediately share that information with other searchers.
To learn more about Scent Kits and how they can protect your loved ones before they go missing Click Here.