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Resource ID: #26256
Subject: Arson
Source: KPNX-TV (Phoenix)
Affiliation: 
Date: February, March, October, December 2013

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Description

For a decade the Phoenix Fire Department presented its arson squad as one of the nation's best. Boasting it has the highest arson clearance rate of any major city fire department in the country. In 2013, 12 News Investigative Reporter Wendy Halloran began looking into the claims. She discovered the arson squad relies heavily on the nose of a dog trained to detect accelerants. In fact, the dog's handler has stated under oath his lab (Labrador retriever) is better equipped to detect arson than the laboratories used by fire departments across the country which specialize in the skill. When alerted by Halloran to Phoenix's methods national experts examined the cases Halloran reviewed and challenged the Arson squad's finding. Halloran discovered the dog is fallible. At least four people were falsely accused of arson as a result.

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