Sheriff’s Office introduces newest canine deputy to combat human trafficking, child exploitation

Canine Tera trained to detect items with internal storage devices

WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced the addition of a new K-9 deputy, Tera.

K-9 Tera is a 1 1/2-year-old Labrador retriever. She will be the office’s newest resource for investigating child exploitation and human trafficking cases.

K-9 Tera is an electronic storage detection K-9. She is specially trained to locate items with an internal storage device including cellphones, tablets, computers, flash drives, SD cards and many other electronic items.

When investigating child exploitation and human trafficking cases, it is not uncommon for the suspect to hide images and videos on electronic devices and then hide those devices in a building or home. When search warrants are conducted, K-9 Tera will be able to walk room to room and locate any hidden electronics.

K-9 Tera was trained by Jordan Detective K9 in McCordsville, Indiana. K-9 Tera was donated to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office by Operation Underground Railroad, which is a nonprofit organization on a mission to end human trafficking and child exploitation. Operation Underground Railroad provided all of Tera’s food, medical, housing and training costs.

K-9 Tera was partnered with Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Corey Kemp, who specializes in cases involving internet crimes against children, human trafficking and internet financial crimes. Detective Kemp and K-9 Tera recently completed their initial training and are now a certified K-9 team. The two will not only work on sheriff’s office cases, but also will assist municipal police departments as requested.

“We are so grateful for the generous donation of K-9 Tera,” Sheriff John Idleburg said. “She will be a major asset in our fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. I know K-9 Tera will do great things for Lake County, just as her seven sheriff’s office K-9 colleagues and their handlers have over the years.”

K-9 Tera joins Lake County Sheriff’s K-9s Axel, Boomer, Danno, Dax, Duke, Echo and Ryker.

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