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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

State Fire Marshal Brings New, Four-Legged Tools to the Fight Against Arson

Des Moines, IOWA --- The Iowa Department of Public Safety is partnering with State Farm Insurance Companies to combat arson in Iowa by adding highly trained accelerant dogs to the State Fire Marshal Division.  

Arson is the second leading cause of fires in Iowa according to fire reports from 2012.  The State Fire Marshal Division is committed to reducing the incidence and effects of arson in this state.  Arson contributed to $35 million dollars in property loss in Iowa during 2012. 

State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds said, “People who light fires in this state will see a much more visible presence of advanced crime fighting tools and technology.  Highly trained dogs capable of detecting minute traces of flammable liquids are being deployed at our fire scenes in order to stop arsonists in their tracks.  Make no mistake: arson is considered a violent crime in Iowa.”

The newest accelerant K-9, Pogo, was just deployed in Mount Pleasant, with several more dogs forthcoming.  The purchase of Pogo was made possible by State Farm Insurance Companies’ Arson Dog Program.  Since its beginning in 1993, the State Farm program has placed more than 300 dogs with fire and law enforcement agencies in 44 states. 

 “We want to help support the efforts of the Iowa Fire Marshal’s team to douse arson fires in the community and put criminals behind bars,” said State Farm Spokesperson Ann Avery. “The scope of arson goes beyond the impact on insurance companies – it affects the personal and financial well-being of us all. Training dogs to detect accelerants at fire scenes saves time and money in arson investigations.”

SA Shatzer and K-9 Pogo

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