Honolulu police have added a new member to its force: A bloodhound that will help find missing persons.
Because the department lost its service dogs Annie and Bella last year, Reba was introduced to the news media Saturday, who was brought to here through funds raised with the help of the Missing Child Center Hawaii.
Reba was rescued from a shelter in North Carolina, and 6th grader Carmina Chang helped raise nearly a quarter of the $8,000 needed to bring Reba here.
“I can’t believe I helped make this dog come here,” she said, “right there in my eyes.”
Police will use the bloodhound for help in locating persons, like missing hikers, and help track down fugitives and escapees.
“If you were missing, we’d ask your family for clothes. We’d put it in a plastic bag, try not to contaminate it, let her sniff it, and send her on the way,” said Wayne Silva of the HPD Specialized Services Division.
Friends of Missing Child Center Hawaii said the Honolulu Police Dept. handled 680 missing person cases in 2014.
Reba will be a valuable tool — just ask Tom Cajski, whose son Mark went missing on Hawaii Island 20 years ago. “No trace was ever found,” he said, “so I appreciate this, knowing what it means.”
Police say bloodhounds can pick up a missing person’s scent three months after he or she goes missing.
And although the three-year-old bloodhound is getting acclimated to Hawaii’s humidity, salt air and unique landscape, she has taken to one local food staple.
“Her reward is Vienna sausage,” said Silva. “She loves that.”