Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Law enforcement agencies often rely on the quick actions of officers to investigate and crack tough crimes, but what happens when a job becomes more than a qualified officer is trained for? That's when K9's are called to action.
Agencies count on our four–legged friends now more than ever to crack the more challenging crimes.
On any given day you can find ATF Special Agent Mike Litman and his constant companion Charlie side by side.
"He's a great partner, if you can imagine riding along all day with a partner, you can talk to tell all your problems to and he does not respond," said Litman.
Agent Litman is one of twenty–six members with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that uses the cold–nosed canines to sniff out explosives like in the back of this SUV.
"Our dogs are trained to find trace amounts of explosives where most dogs are trained to find a higher quantity of explosives," said Litman.
Charlie, a black lab retriever has been Litman's partner for more than eight years.
"Charlie is top shelf, he was originally supposed to go to Thailand, my original dog died halfway through training and I became friends with the Thai's. He was my gift."
Litman says canines like Charlie are often used at major sporting events across the country and recently put their noses to the ground during the Boston Bombing investigation.
"In the Boston Marathon the dogs were used to recover some of the pieces of the device," said Litman, "our explosive people can actually take those pieces the dog alerts on, put it back together to tell you what kind of bomb you had."
And as Charlie continues to succeed at the toughest of tasks, Litman says his four legged partner is the best asset any department could ask for.
Agent Litman says after eight years of dedicated service with ATF, 10 year–old Charlie is set to retire next month.