The Derbyshire Constabulary have recruited their cutest and most valuable officer yet. Meet Billie, the sperm sniffing dog!
While most departments enlist the help of dogs trained to detect drugs and explosives, Derbyshire Officers are concerning themselves with the many unsolved rape and sexual assault cases in the area. Their newest addition to the force is a cocker spaniel named Billie, who is trained to detect DNA evidence found in sexual assault cases.
Billie’s job is to track down trace amounts of semen, otherwise undetectable by Crime Scene Investigators.
Most people know that dogs have a heightened sense of smell. But how can this be used to put rapists behind bars?
Billie’s sense of smell is roughly 10,000 times stronger than that of the average human. This means he can detect “as little as a milliliter of sperm more than a year after it was deposited indoors.”
Well-trained dogs can pick up some smells when they are diluted down to a few trillionths of a liter. This is the equivalent of identifying a pinch of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
To track a predator, Billie is first provided with DNA found at the crime scene. He then uses his nose to get the scent of the DNA and track the source.
In less than six months, Billie has performed over a dozen live searches.
Billie has already proven to be a “real asset,” says Superintendent Dick Hargreaves, of Derbyshire Constabulary.
In one specific case, Billie was able to detect DNA samples which had been missed by the Crime Scene Investigation team. An anonymous peeping Tom was spotted in the neighborhood, but no DNA evidence could be detected by the crime light. After removing boards from the loft of the residence to continue the search, Billie discovered trace amounts of semen on the piece of wood.
“Despite CSI not being able to see any stains via the crime light, the dog indicated several areas on one of the boards. That board has now been seized for laboratory analysis,” reads the briefing recently released by Derbyshire Constabulary.
Superintendent Hargreaves says that the the Constabulary and it’s officers “are always looking for innovative ways to improve [their] service,” and they are “hoping that Billie’s skills will lead to more convictions.”
Seems like Billie is already making quite the impact on the team!
He’s already been used in numerous investigations and has found further evidence that has resulted in crime scene investigators identifying DNA profiles.
You can check out Billie’s career, as well as his canine coworker’s shenanigans, by following the Derby’s Dog Police Section on Twitter!