Dennis, a 6-year-old yellow lab, can detect more than 19,000 explosive combinations. He and his handler, K-9 Officer Craig Williamson, showed off their skills for the media on Tuesday. (KIRO Radio Photo/Brandi Kruse)

SPD bomb dog keeping busy after Boston Marathon attack

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When the Seattle Police Department vowed to heighten security in the wake of bombings at the Boston Marathon, 6-year-old Dennis got a chance to show off his skills.

The yellow lab, one of two bomb dogs for the department, can detect more than 19,000 distinct explosive combinations. Dennis and his handler, K-9 Officer Craig Williamson, gave a demonstration to the media Tuesday.

It took Dennis less than a minute to find a small package of gun powder that Officer Williamson hid behind a pillar outside the Seattle Municipal Building.

Once he detected the explosive, Dennis sat down and waited for a treat.

"His job all day long is to work for food," Officer Williamson said. "He doesn't get a bowl of food at the end of the day. He gets increments of food for finding explosive odors throughout the day."

Earlier in the day, Officer Williamson and Dennis were called to the scene of a suspicious package near the King County Courthouse. It turned out to be a backpack with a hair dryer inside. In the evening, the team did a sweep of Safeco Field prior to the start of the Mariners game.

The day before, the duo searched garbage cans at Westlake Park and sniffed around for explosives at Seattle Center.

Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
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