The Lake County Sheriff’s Office on Monday announced their newest canine, Tera, who will help the department investigate child exploitation and human trafficking cases.
Tera is a one-and-a-half-year-old Labrador Retriever and is an Electronic Storage Detection (ESD) canine.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said Tera is specially trained to locate items with an internal storage device.
Such devices include cell phones, tablets, computers, flash drives, SD cards and other electronic items.
Covelli explained that it is not uncommon for a suspect in child exploitation and human trafficking cases to have images and videos on an electronic device and then hide the devices in a building or home.
When search warrants are conducted, Canine Tera will be able to walk room to room and locate any hidden electronics.
Tera was trained by Jordan Detective K9 in McCordsville, Indiana.
She was donated to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office by Operation Underground Railroad, which is a nonprofit organization, Covelli said.
Operation Underground Railroad also paid for all of Tera’s food, medical, housing and training costs.
Canine Tera was partnered with Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Corey Kemp, who specializes in cases involving internet crimes against children, human trafficking and internet financial crimes.
Kemp and Tera recently completed their initial training and are now a certified canine team.
The two will not only work on sheriff’s office cases but will also assist area police departments as requested, Covelli said.
“We are so grateful for the generous donation of Canine Tera. She will be a major asset in our fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. I know Canine Tera will do great things for Lake County, just as her seven sheriff’s office canine colleagues and their handlers have over the years,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.
Canine Tera is the eighth active duty canine at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. She joins Axel, Boomer, Danno, Dax, Duke, Echo and Ryker.