K9 Program

Explosives Detection

The Auraria Campus Police Department (ACPD) now provides enhanced safety and community policing service through the addition of a K9 Program for the Auraria Campus. Dash and his handler, ACPD Officer Corey Averill, are the first K9 Unit for the campus, focusing on explosives detection.

Dash, a white golden retriever, will be a highly trained explosives detection dog by the end of November 2016, working in tandem with Officer Corey Averill. As a team, they will conduct searches for a variety of explosive materials on campus. When the ACPD receives calls about suspicious packages or unattended backpacks, Dash and Officer Averill can respond and investigate. In addition, the team will support high-profile events that require protective sweeps.

Community Outreach

While Dash’s primary responsibility is explosives detection, he also loves to make new friends with students, faculty, and staff. If you see him on campus, please stop and visit with him. However, before calling his name or petting him, please confirm with Officer Averill that Dash isn't actively working.

  Follow Dash’s adventures on Instagram: @DashtheK9.


About Officer Averill

Officer Averill has been with the ACPD since 2015, and was selected from a strong pool of candidates to take on the K9 handler role. Prior to the ACPD, Averill worked as a military police officer for the Army in Baumholder, Germany and Fort Polk, Louisiana.

About Dash

What’s Dash’s story?

Dash was rescued by the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies, and has been trained by Rocky Mountain Canine Academy. He was selected by the ACPD for his intelligence and approachability, as well as his playfulness and good nature towards faculty, staff, and students. 

Favorite Toys and Activities

He enjoys chasing tennis balls and romping with Officer Averill’s other dog, Denali. He also loves Kongs filled with biscuits and peanut butter.

His all-time favorite activity, however, is explosives detection. He receives a "special toy" when he locates an explosive odor. This "special toy" is a terry cloth towel that’s saturated with an explosive odor, then rolled up and tied with cotton string.

This “toy” is effective for training because dogs have an organ on top of their mouths that allows them to taste the odors they smell. Throughout the workday, Dash gets to play with this towel for a short period of time for each odor he finds. When his workday is over, he gets to shred one of these towels, which has by far become his favorite activity. 

Best Trick

Dash's best trick is locating explosives. He excels at finding a scent and following it to the source. After Dash locates the source, he’s trained to sit and wait until Officer Averill investigates.


Campus Coverage of Dash

Spring 2017

March 1, 2017 - Dash wins hearts, keeps campus safe, CU Denver Today »

February 15, 2017 - Puppy Love: K9 Dash Gives Tail Wags and a Study Break at Tivoli Station »

February 10, 2017 - Dash: 'sit, stay, fetch, defuse', Met Media »

February 3, 2017 - New Explosive Detection K-9 on Campus, Met Media »

January 19, 2017 - Auraria police welcomes explosives-detecting K-9 to campus, Met Media »


Contact the K9 Unit

Corey Averill | Police Officer
303-556-5000 | corey.averill@ahec.edu