HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Over the years, Hampton Police Division's K-9 Unit has been responsible for locating hundreds of criminals, but they are trained to do much more.
Recently, one dog found Candice Banks' body, a woman who had been missing for two weeks. Another dog helped uncover Michael Vick's dog fighting operation by sniffing drugs in the car of one of Vick's cousins in 2007.
"Every time the dog has a find, I always say it's like Christmas all over again," Master Police Officer Thomas Hendrickson said. "I don't care if it's a bullet shell or a person."
The 11-dog Hampton police force prepares just like the officers who handle them, training for real-life situations.
WAVY.com was given rare access to one of those training sessions, where dogs were tasked with findings drugs and suspects hidden in a home.
The exercises may seem a bit simple, but the hope is they pay off when people need them most.
"I've been working with dogs for 24 years," Hendrickson said. "I've caught criminals whatever the crime. My main focus is to find the little autistic child that's gotten away from home and needs to be saved."
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Airports in the Washington region are urging passengers to check on their flights before heading to the airports as some flights have been delayed or canceled because of winter weather.
Congressman Bobby Scott is traveling to South Africa to attend the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
A Newport News mother was arrested on a charge of child neglect after her son was found alone Saturday, according to police.
A parade float caught fire at an Oceanfront parade on Dec. 7, 2013.