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The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is proud to introduce the agency’s first Explosives Detection K9.

K9 Ion is a two-year-old English Labrador Retriever provided by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. After ten weeks of intensive training in Virginia, K9 Ion and his handler, Deputy Kevin Hobson, successfully earned ATF certification. This program is the most stringent in the United States, placing this duo among top tier explosive detection teams in the nation. This team will support public safety in a variety of capacities, from special event security to article searches and field operations. They will be based out of Loveland at The Ranch Events Complex, which provides partial funding for the new position.

"We value the 20-year relationship between The Ranch and LCSO and the strength it brings to our daily operations," said Conor McGrath, Director at The Ranch. "We are deliberate in our approach to public safety and committed to providing the community with a welcoming, safe, and accessible space for patrons. We're excited to welcome Deputy Hobson and K9 Ion in support of this shared mission."

K9 Ion can detect explosives, explosives residue, and post-blast evidence, as well as firearms and ammunition after they have been discharged. The ATF academy uses a scientifically-based training methodology to familiarize K9s with the odors of five basic explosives groups, including chemical compounds used in about 19,000 explosives formulas

“Graduating from the ATF Explosives Detection Canine program is a tremendous undertaking demanding months of intensive training for both the K9 and the handler while at the academy,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Brent Beavers. “We are especially proud of Deputy Hobson and K9 Ion for their continued dedication and commitment which can be directly attributed to being able to bring this important resource to serve and protect their community.”

K9 Ion is a single-purpose dog, meaning his sole focus is explosives detection. Deputy Hobson is a certified bomb technician who has served on the Northern Colorado Regional Bomb Squad for eight years. With extensive training and experience in this field, he was chosen for the new K9 handler assignment and participated in K9 Ion’s selection process. In addition to this team, LCSO has two K9/handler teams in the jail certified in narcotic detection, and five K9/handler teams in the patrol division certified to perform patrol functions and narcotic detection.

“Law enforcement must constantly adapt to meet the needs of a changing world,” said Larimer County Sheriff John Feyen. “The addition of K9 Ion is a testament to LCSO’s commitment to public safety here in Northern Colorado.”

Click a photo to enlarge.

Published on: 
Monday, September 25, 2023 - 9:54am
Contact Details: 

Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
(970)980-2501 |  Email

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Fort Collins, CO 80521
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