TAMPA — Three dogs have been added to the Tampa Police Department's canine unit.
Two 12-week-old bloodhounds, Ellie Mae and Riley, will help officers in tracking. Camden, a 17-month-old Belgian Malinois, is a patrol dog and will help detect explosives, police said.
The dogs join 22 others that already are part of the canine unit. The dogs help police find criminals, bombs and narcotics, and help in searches and rescues.
"It's a resource that the city definitely needs," said Andrea Davis, a police spokeswoman.
The bloodhounds are single-purpose dogs trained to use their sense of smell to find drugs, explosives or people.
Camden, a dual-purpose dog, will be more aggressive in catching criminals. About 700 hours of training will help Camden also detect explosives.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement recertifies the dogs each year after completion of the initial training program. The police dogs live with the officers who handle them.
Camden Communities donated the money to get Camden.
The Jimmy Ryce Foundation donated the bloodhounds, the third and fourth it's given to the department.