Ilitch Charities and Detroit Tigers Foundation Team Up to Provide Explosive Detecting Dogs to Local Law Enforcement

$135,000 donation brings advanced explosive detection capabilities to the Michigan State Police, Wayne State University Public Safety Department and the Detroit Police Department

First-in-Michigan canines to help create safer community for fans, patrons and residents in Southeast Michigan and beyond

DETROIT, Mich. – Ilitch Charities and the Detroit Tigers Foundation have partnered to donate three Vapor Wake® canines to local law enforcement agencies including the Michigan State Police, Wayne State University Public Safety Department and the Detroit Police Department. The donation of $135,000 to purchase three of the canines will provide the latest in explosion detection technology to major metropolitan areas for the first time ever in Michigan.

“We are honored to provide these donations from Ilitch Charities and the Detroit Tigers Foundation to extend the Ilitch companies’ longstanding commitment toward helping to create a safer community,” said Michael Healy, Vice President of Park Operations for the Detroit Tigers and the President of Ilitch Charities.

"Thanks to the generosity of Ilitch Charities and the Detroit Tiger Foundation, the Detroit Police Department is able to maintain its state of constant readiness and protect our citizens from the unthinkable," said Chief James Craig. "The very kind donation of this new Vapor Wake® canine will assist us in detecting explosives during all types of events and will aid in our continued efforts of ensuring the safety of all who live, work and play in our great city."

Vapor Wake® canines represent a new breed of bomb-detecting technology more sophisticated than the average Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD). Unlike traditional EDDs trained to view static objects or people as their “productive area,” Vapor Wake® dogs smell and target the odor of hand-carried or body-worn explosives in real time while a target is in motion.

Vapor Wake® canines can screen hundreds of people attending a sporting event or concert, as well as going through an airport, train station, etc. in a non-obtrusive way. If someone is carrying explosive material, it will leave a scent trail or “vapor wake” that the canine will detect and lead the trained handler to the source of the scent.

“We are proud to be the first in the state of Michigan to offer these dogs as the latest technology for local law enforcement, in particular at airports, college campuses, public schools, shopping centers, theaters and large event venues,” said Healy.

Law enforcement agencies and representatives from professional sports teams throughout the Midwest were on hand today at Comerica Park as Ilitch Charities and the Detroit Tigers Foundation presented the donation to the Michigan State Police, Wayne State University Public Safety Department and Detroit Police Department. Attendees were also given a demonstration of the Vapor Wake® canines and their abilities.

“Vapor Wake® technology is the most advanced explosion detection technology of its kind in the U.S.” said Charlie McGinty, Vice President of Sales for AMK9. “It was awarded a U.S. Patent in 2015, making it the only patented canine technology capable of detecting moving explosives hidden on a person, and has been certified by the National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security as the first and only lab tested K9 security.”

Patrons can expect to see the three newest members of Michigan’s law enforcement team at events and locations throughout the summer and fall, including sporting events, concerts, airports, theaters and large event venues throughout Southeast Michigan.

About Ilitch Charities

Ilitch Charities is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that invests in our community's future by supporting innovative, collaborative and measurable programs in the areas of community development, human services, education and recreation through contributions from the Ilitch companies, their colleagues and the generosity of others.

About Detroit Tigers Foundation

The Detroit Tigers Foundation is the official charity of the Detroit Tigers baseball club and is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, a 501(c)(3) public charity. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance lives through the game of baseball with a focus on youth, education and recreation. From ticket donations and field renovation projects to an award winning, State-wide anti-bullying program, the Foundation aids in the development and funding of innovative programs that reach Tigers fans with positive messages and promote the good citizenship embodied in the storied history of the Detroit Tigers.

Explore the District