Cardinal Canine Visits Law Enforcement

Cardinal Canine Visits Law Enforcement

South Tech Law Enforcement students learned about canine units on March 20th when Officer Mike Cognasso and his partner, Police Canine Young, visited our campus.

Young, who is a specially trained Vapor Wake detection canine and part of St. Louis Cardinals Security Team, demonstrated his skills for students by following the scent trail of an object hidden within our conference room. Students were able to see Young catch the scent, follow its movement around the room, and then sit at attention once he had discovered its location. “You watch for the shift in his behavior,” said Cognasso as he described to the students how Young indicates when he has discovered the trail.

Officer Cognasso jokingly described himself as Young’s “driver” because they share their vehicle as partners. Young also lives with Cognasso and has his own “office” in their home which holds his kennel. Young is 4 years old, a Labrador Retriever, and was trained at Auburn University, a school which specializes in Vapor Wake detection. This training teaches dogs how to detect body worn explosives on a moving target.

Students enjoyed both the demonstration and Young’s “off-duty” personality as he is quite playful and full of energy. Thanks to the St. Louis City Police Department, Officer Cognasso, and Young for taking the time to visit South Tech!

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