New K-9s Join LSU Police

Two new explosive-detecting Vapor Wake dogs added to the police force 

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Police Department has added two new explosive-detecting K-9s to join its two traditional explosive detection dogs already on the force. Jazz and Weeks are Labrador retrievers, trained to detect explosives and other substances, even as their target is moving.

When people move, they leave behind a scent in their wake. Jazz and Weeks are trained to follow that vapor trail. Unlike traditional explosive detection dogs that are trained to respond to static objects, Vapor Wake dogs are trained to respond to the odor itself, even while it is in motion and are able to follow the threat to its source. 

“The safety of our campus community is our number one priority,” said LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson. “We are continually looking for ways to enhance our safety resources and prevention methods. When looking at best practices around the country, Vapor Wake dogs are being used by the largest organizations in the country such as Walt Disney World. With all the large-scale events taking place on our campus on a regular basis, we getting these dogs and having our officers trained to handle them was another important step for campus safety.”

Vapor Wake is the only detector dog technology certified by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. Vapor Wake dogs are uniquely suited for screening large numbers of persons quickly at events or high trafficked pedestrian traffic areas.

“Vapor Wake canines, Jazz and Weeks, and their handlers are the leading edge of protecting the LSU community during high-profile events,” said David Hanson, LSU Police community outreach/special response team. “The teams, working with established public safety partners, provide a non-intrusive method of mitigating hazards, so our students, staff, and guests are able to focus on enjoying their time with friends and family.”

The generosity of Tiger Athletic Foundation, Claude Pennington and the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation provided funding for the Vapor Wake dogs, their training and the K-9 vehicles.

“The Vapor Wake training was intense and fun at the same time,” said Kim Bass, community outreach officer with LSU Police. “Being able to bond with our canines was and still is an amazing experience. Jazz loves mingling and interacting with the students of LSU, while keeping them safe.”

The LSU Police Department is organized as a traditional police department and officers are commissioned with statewide arrest authority per Louisiana Revised Statute 17:1805. All officers receive training that exceeds state standards and provides services 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.

Three functional Divisions exist at LSU PD. The Administrative Division consists of command level officers that are responsible for the direction and control of all LSU police officers that fall under their respective area of responsibility. The command staff of LSU PD is responsible for the planning and daily operation of the Administration, Patrol Support and Uniform Patrol units. The Administrative Division also includes the Criminal Investigative Unit, Detectives who are responsible for investigations. This Division reports directly to the Chief of Police.

The Patrol Support Division is comprised of LSU police officers whose responsibilities are crime prevention at specific LSU facilities and operational support functions including Communications, Records, Evidence, Training and Fleet Maintenance, etc. These units provide vital support for all officers of the LSU Police Department including maintenance of a full-service firing range and interdepartment training services.

The Uniform Patrol Division has the responsibility for the protection of life and property 24 hours a day. Uniform Patrol Officers utilize a variety of resources for deterrence and response, including traditional police motor vehicles, motorcycles, mountain bicycles, K-9s, etc. These officers provide direct emergency and non-emergency assistance to the many students, staff, faculty and visitors to our community.

For more information on the LSU Police Department, visit


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Contact Rachel Holland
LSU Office of Strategic Communications


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations