By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV

EVERETT (CBS) – They are friendly, furry and very highly trained. K-9 units drilling this week in Everett hold a key piece of Boston Marathon security in their paws.

The old Everett High School has been turned into a training facility for dogs trained to sniff out explosives and firearms.

The federal ATF is holding a three-day training and testing session for 60 of these K-9’s and their handlers. Many of them will work the Marathon. That includes Everett Police K-9 Hart.

“Our dogs will help be a resource throughout the whole event,” said Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie. “Its going to be tight security for sure, they’ll do sweeps of the whole route.”

Inside the former shop room at the high school, dogs are led around a circle of canisters. Some of the cans contain explosive powders. In others there are distractions, like food.

The Labrador Retrievers are led by their handlers to each canister. When they smell and explosive, they are trained to sit beside it. They are rewarded with food each time they’re correct.

The ATF trains dogs to work at police departments all over New England. Once they arrive at their departments, they have a variety of tasks.

“You can apply these K-9 in investigations involving explosives, firearms as well as arson,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Dan Kumor.

They can also find evidence like shell casings at crime scenes.

And now these dogs from throughout New England will participate in one of Boston’s biggest security challenges. All the hours of training put to the test to keep Marathon runners and spectators safe.



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