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Meet “May”- The pup helping Kentucky police sniff out suspicious electronics

The Kentucky State Police are highlighting their newest, member, “May,” a two-year-old black Labrador and the state’s first Electronic Storage Device (ESD) Detection Dog on their social media this month.

Law enforcement has trained special dogs, like May, to find hidden thumb drives and cell phones that human investigators routinely miss, aiding in the arrest of predators, and other criminals. May serves as one of only 51 ESD canine units across the country and has been assisting police search warrants and sniffing out evidence.

The KSP launched a social media campaign, “The Month of May” to share May’s accomplishments and allow the public to learn more about her role within the agency.

In a post shared by FMCSA, the Kentucky State Police say “ESD canines work with police agencies and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces to assist with locating hidden electronic storage devices such as hard drives, USB drives and cell phones that may contain criminal activity, such as child sexual abuse material.”

May was trained for her role by Jordan Detection K9 in Indianapolis, IN who partner with the non-profit organization Operation Underground Railroad. Together, they help in the rescue efforts of children that are victims of human trafficking. As part of the project, ESD K9s like May are trained and the Kentucky State Police was able to receive May at no cost to the agency.

May received training in scent discrimination, pinpoint accuracy, open area searches, and realistic scenario-based training. May and her handler team also work together to support other missions such as workplace therapy and victim disclosures. May also serves as a comfort dog. She recently interacted with a child while they were being interviewed during a child exploitation investigation.

“May has assisted our branch detectives with four search warrants and has been successful during all her deployments thus far,” said Bowling. “She has located key pieces of evidence during these investigations and we are pleased with what she has already brought to our team,” said Lieutenant Mike Bowling, the Commander of the KSP Electronic Crime Branch.

May’s handler is Detective Leslie Strong, a seven-year veteran of the agency who is assigned to the Electronic Crime Branch.

“She’s a smart dog and has been great to work with,” said Strong. “In her free time May enjoys belly rubs, squeaky toys and naps.”

Follow May on her Instagram page to learn more about her day-to-day life.