A life-size monument dedicated to the sacrifice and commitment of the nation’s arson detection dogs housed in Washington D.C. has close ties to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The 7-foot-tall bronze monument, which depicts a firefighter looking down at his canine partner, has deep Colorado roots as the arson dog featured in the piece is based on longtime CBI arson dog, Erin, and the sculpture was created by 22-year-old firefighter Austin Weishel, a resident Loveland.
The monument departed Denver after a ceremony at CBI as well as the State Capitol Building on June 21. Agent Means, Weishel and others traveled with the monument across the country to its final placement in Washington D.C. near the Capitol Building on June 28.
“It was an honor to be part of this amazing project,” said Agent Means with CBI. “This is the first and only national monument dedicated to arson dogs and their handlers, and I am humbled to have been selected to escort the monument across the country to bring awareness to this critical program.”
State Farm has been providing scholarship funding for the acquisition and training of accelerant detection canine teams - commonly called arson dogs - for two decades.
Arson dogs are trained to detect the presence of accelerants (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) that may be used to start fraudulent and deadly arson fires. Valuable evidence can then be collected to aid in the prosecution or arsonists.
Since 1993, State Farm has provided funding for the acquisition and training of more than 300 arson dog teams in 44 U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia.