K9 Spice, is the Anne Arundel County Fire Department’s newest accelerant detection canine; and she received her badge from County Executive Steve Schuh today at the West Annapolis fire station.
K9 Spice is a 23-month-old black Labrador Retriever. She was whelped (born) in Mexico. At three months of age, she entered into the Puppies Behind Bars program (PBB) where she was taught basic canine obedience skills as well as being exposed to different environments such as loud equipment and riding in vehicles. She spent time in correctional facilities in Clifton, New Jersey, and Danbury, Connecticut before being chosen by the ATF to become an accelerant detection canine.
Lieutenant Brian Mayers is her partner for life. Mayers is a fourth generation firefighter and third generation fire investigator, and has been a member of our department for more than 26 years. He obtained his current rank of Lieutenant in 1998 and moved to his current assignment in the Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit in 2005. He has been a Task Force Officer with ATF assigned to Baltimore Arson/Explosives since 2011. In December of last year became an ATF accelerant dog handler with his partner, K9 Spice.
Lieutenant Mayers and K9 Spice completed a 12-week program to become certified as an Accelerant Detection Canine Team (ADCT). K9 Spice is trained to detect accelerants (six classes of petroleum based liquids). Together they are one of only 49 ATF Certified Accelerant Detection Teams in the United States which can be called away as needed by the ATF. There are five (5) other ATF ADCT’s in the region. In addition to working fire investigations in Anne Arundel County, they assist other jurisdictions as requested, and respond anywhere in the United States as needed by ATF. Lieutenant Mayers has daily training and care responsibilities for K9 Spice and they must re-certify together every year.