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New Arson K9 joins Florida team

Detective Jim Stafford with Ginger, a two year old Yellow Lab. -Photo: Florida Department of Financial Services

By FDFS and Staff Reports

The newest member of the Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations K9 Accelerant Detection Team is a 2-year old Yellow Lab named Ginger. Ginger will be based in the Panama City field office. She was obtained through a funding and training program in conjunction with State Farm Insurance, according to a release from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

Ginger joined DFS’ Accelerant Detection Team through Maine Specialty Dogs in Gray, Maine. Although originally trained as a dog for the blind, she showed exceptional skills for detecting explosives and her training shifted. Her handler, Detective Jim Stafford, has more than 15 years of experience working with Narcotic and Explosives Detection Dogs.

Ginger and Detective Stafford certified as a team with the Maine State Police after training together for a month in Concord, New Hampshire.

Patronis stated, “I’m thrilled to welcome Ginger to our team. I know she will be a valuable asset in the detection of explosives and save lives.”

State Farm Agent Mike Hall, “State Farm is proud to continue to support law enforcement agencies and the fight against fraud throughout the state of Florida.”

The Bureau of Fire, Arson, and Explosives Investigations (BFAEI) is a law enforcement branch of the Department of Financial Services that conducts fire, arson, and explosives investigations as well as other related criminal investigations statewide. The use of arson detection canine teams serves as a valuable asset for BFAEI, whose mission is to enhance the life safety of all Floridians.

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