Bloodhounds join Fairfax County Police team

“They're friendly, non-aggressive, all they want to do is be around people,” says Officer Kevin Clark while watching his new recruits.

“Basically they're bloodhounds -so they have 1000 years of instinct in using their nose,” Clark says.

In about a year, these two bloodhound puppies -- Bolt and Sy -- will join the Fairfax Police Department's K-9 unit to help with the region’s most complex cases.

“There's not a lot of bloodhounds regionally I would expect that we will be requested throughout the region,” Clark Says. “Every jurisdiction has patrol dogs, but bloodhounds are a little bit more rare.”

Clark says Bolt and Sy aren’t the fierce type –bloodhounds don’t typically take down criminals. But, what they lack in intimidation they make up with their expert sense of smell.

“These dogs can actually be given a scent article, say a hat or a shirt or another article of clothing, that that person has been wearing and follow that odor in an urban environment where there’s literally thousands of different odors,” Clark says. “They play such an integral role in a lot of major cases These dogs are used in homicide cases, missing children, Alzheimer’s patients, that sort of thing.”

Major cases like the recent Navy Yard Shooting. In the chaotic moments following the rampage, the department’s K-9 unit rushed to the scene to help track down what police believed was a possible second shooter.