Contact: Brad Hilliard - 503-428-4890
Big Career Move for One will Make Montana Better for All
Yancy, a 20 month old female yellow lab packed her bags in FL, completed her certification training in Maine and will be introduced by her handler, Assistant Fire Chief Doug Bennyhoff, as Montana’s first Arson Dog.
Yancy will be formally introduced to the media on Tuesday, May 15, at 2 pm at Fire Station #1 (105 9th St S.). Those in attendance will be welcomed with a Q&A session followed by photo opportunities and a field demonstration by Yancy and Doug.
The Arson Dog Program, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, allows communities to save tax dollars by greatly reducing the time it takes to investigate a scene and reduce the number of samples that need to be sent to labs for testing. In addition, communities with an arson detection team have seen a dramatic increase in arson convictions.
“This program will reduce investigation time and produce more accurate samples for prosecutors at trial,” said Bennyhoff. “The investigation and outreach opportunities with this program will reduce arson losses in our state.”
Additionally, fraud costs consumers and insurance companies $30 billion a year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB). This equates to about $300 per American household. State Farm is committed to help local law enforcement curb fraud by sponsoring the Arson Dog Program that has brought Yancy to Montana.
“Fraud affects everyone and this is a big step to reducing the problem,” said Gary Fosse, Great Falls State Farm Agent. “Yancy will make a big impact at the crime scene and in the community.”
Bennyhoff, Fosse and State Farm Agent Scott Schissler were instrumental in bringing Yancy and this program to MT. Since starting the arson dog training program in 1993, State Farm has provided local law enforcement the necessary resources to train more than 300 dog and handler teams across the US and Canada. These k9 teams locate accelerants used in fraud and arson cases, as well as speak to youth about fire safety and arson as a crime.