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Dogs. They sniff bombs. They sniff drugs. They sniff bodies. In some countries, they sniff fruit. But now, they sniff cell phones.
And those cell phone-sniffing dogs are headed to New York's Rikers Island, where they will fight crime from the inside out. By roaming the prison's halls and sniffing out smuggled cell phones, that is.
And at $6,000 a pop, one can only hope these dogs are worth the fee. And that they can track contraband better than their human colleagues.
Luckily, Rikers Island is not the first prison to hire a cell phone-sniffing dog. Tulsa County Sheriff acquired such a K9 just last month. And Maryland started using them in 2007.
Turns out dogs can be trained to sniff out lithium-ion batteries, chargers and ear pieces. And with the dogs' increasing presence in prisons, it seems like they do a pretty good job at it, too.
You might not guess it, but cell phones are a big problem amongst the nation's prison population. Though inmates may use the prison's phones, they are monitored. Cell phones provide privacy. And a way to have phone sex.
Well, probably. But the real issue is criminal activity. There have been a number of cases where cell phones have allowed prisoners to run gang operations and drug deals from prison. Some have even used the phones to intimidate witnesses or order their slaughter.
So while cell phone-sniffing dogs are quite amusing, they're also quite useful. They help keep the prison population deprived while simultaneously keeping witnesses safe.