Crime fighting isn’t just for humans. There are furry friends throughout the country that also help to solve crimes. Alcatraz East Crime Museum is highlighting the importance of police service animals in a new display. The exhibit will open on July 23, 2021, and as part of the exhibit, they will have on-going guest appearances from varying departments. The first of which will be the morning of the launch from 9:30 am till 12:30 pm, where guests can meet local K9’s from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
“Police animals do important work and we are happy to help put a spotlight on them,” states Summer Blalock, sales and marketing manager for Alcatraz East. “We are pleased to partner with TBI, so our guests can learn about these spectacular K9’s and what it takes to train them.”
All the K9s from TBI are expected to be at the museum, barring they are not called to duty. The K9’s expected include four arson dogs (Faith, Diesel, Honey, and Millie), and Zeus, which is an electronic storage detection K9.
Faith is the agency’s first Accelerant Detection Canine and specializes in sniffing out evidence at fire scenes around the state. Honey was part of the “Puppies Behind Bars” program before becoming an Accelerant Detection Canine. Millie and Diesel are also both Accelerant Detection Canines, while Zeus is TBI’s only dog trained to detect odor from chemicals consistent across all electronic storage devices.
Some of the featured items in the new exhibit will include horseshoes from the New York City Mounted Police unit, a K9 vest used by a Pigeon Forge Police dog, and information that sheds light on the important work that animals do to help in law enforcement.
“This is a great opportunity for the family to learn about how animals play an important role in crime prevention and detection,” added Blalock. “We look forward to adding this experience to the museum.”
According to the National Police Dog Foundation, the most popular dogs used in police work are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds. They report that the dogs typically start working when they are 12-15 months old, and they retire around age 10. The training for such a dog costs between $12,000 to $15,000 per dog, depending on the length of each class they take. The dogs are trained in a variety of areas, including obedience, agility, tracking, evidence searches, and open area and open building searches.
The museum is also hosting an annual graffiti contest. Winners of the 3rd Annual Graffiti Art Contest will receive $750 for first place, $350 for second place, and $200 for third place. The winning artists will have their artwork displayed in the museum along with winning a cash prize. Artists must submit examples of their graffiti artwork online to be eligible for the contest. Up to ten selected artists will be invited to the museum to participate in the November 6th contest. The entries will be judged by local law enforcement and art professionals. For more information or to enter the contest, visit the site here.
Alcatraz East Crime Museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden; Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief; and Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here. Or visit the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation page here.
About Alcatraz East
Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. Guests are encouraged to check the website prior to visiting for reduced hours as a result of COVID-19. The last ticket is sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here.