Jules is the newest of five arson investigation dogs at the Office of the State Fire Marshal. K-9 Officer Terry Ooms is just back from a month of training in Maine. The dogs are trained to detect accelerants, and their noses are said to be about 200 times as sensitive as a human's. Ooms and Jules demonstrated their skills for reporters Thursday at the Springfield Fire Department training tower.
Click here for summary
“She does carry her Office of the State Fire Marshal badge around her neck. She is a sworn officer with the State Fire Marshal and has the same powers as us as investigators,” says Ooms. Did she swear to an oath? “No, just a paw print on a piece of paper.” Bloomington-based State Farm Insurance picks up the cost to acquire and train the five dogs, and train the officers, estimated at $25,000. Further costs are no more than what you would encounter as a pet owner. The dogs’ careers are typically five to 10 years.