FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — A new training program is looking to combat an increase in gun violence in the city of Frederick, using K-9s as their secret weapon.

Lieutenant Matt Carrado, who oversees Frederick Police Department’s K-9 unit, was looking for a way to tackle the area’s uptick in gun violence.

“We began to think how can we stop this growing trend,” said Lieutenant Carrado.

Another officer then started looking into gun detection dogs and for a new dog to add to their K-9 unit.
From 2019 to 2020, there was about a 65% increase in gun discharges in the city of Frederick and from 2020 to 2021. There was about a 57% increase.

K-9 Nitro, the new dog that will help sniff out guns, is bred from Auburn University and sold through k9 global solutions, but his purpose is much different.

“The other dogs we have our dual-purpose so they will go sniff for drugs and they might be used for apprehension or tracking. They might have a couple of different roles, but K-9 Nitro will be finding guns that’s it,” said Lieutenant Carrado.

The dog is going to be trained on very specific odors that are associated with a handgun. He alerts by sitting as soon as he finds something that lets the owner know he found it.

“We might get called for a discharge in the city or shooting, perhaps a citizen saw someone running or throwing a gun or maybe saw someone running and they pretty sure he had a gun. We’ll then use the dog to see if K-9 Nitro can track where they or the gun went,” said Lieutenant Carrado.

K-9 nitro’s intensive training for the gun detection program will happen in the fall.