Alcatraz East Crime Museum Hosting Tail-Wagging Meet and Greet with K9s

Some say dogs are a man’s best friend. Others may say they are a police officer’s best friend because of the vital role that K9s play in law enforcement. Guests will have a chance to mingle with dogs from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) K9 unit at Alcatraz East. The special event will be on June 16, 2023, from 10 am to 12 pm. The meet and greet is included in the regular admission price.

“Everyone loves to see the dogs from the K9 unit,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “We are excited to bring them in and let people learn more about their important work.”

It’s estimated that there are around 50,000 police dogs in the country, all of which have been trained to do specific tasks, such as detecting particular items, tracking, or helping apprehend suspects. According to the National Police Dog Foundation, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retrievers, and Bloodhounds are the most commonly used breeds. They typically serve for up to nine years before they are retired.

The dogs entering K9 training programs are chosen for their characteristics, which include being social, cooperative, and hard-working. They go through vigorous training before they are ready to join law enforcement officers. The dogs are typically present to help provide patrol duties or for their detection abilities, such as detecting drugs, electronics, or explosives.

“TBI accelerant detection canine teams spend most of their time assisting with fire investigations or training, so having an opportunity to attend an event like this at the museum is something they enjoy,” explains Leslie Earhart, public information officer with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. “Our agents love showing off their K9 partners and educating the public about the specialized skills they use to make an impact at fire scenes across the state.”

The K9s from TBI that will participate in the meet and greet event include Faith, Honey, Diesel, and Millie. The dogs have been trained in accelerant training from various programs nationwide, including the “Puppies Behind Bars” program.

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

“We have a lot of fun things going on, so don’t miss stopping in to check them out,” added Pennington. “This is an especially great time to plan a few hours at the museum.”

Alcatraz East Crime Museum continues to celebrate teachers and support staff through June 11, 2023. Educators and school support staff can get free admission for themselves and 50% off admission for up to four guests. A fun demo day will be held on June 10, 2023, with demonstrations at 11 am, 12 pm, and 1 pm. All guests wishing to attend Demo Day must pre-register due to limited space. To receive free admission, they must register online ahead of time and show their school identification or paystub at the ticket counter.

The museum recently unveiled a new temporary exhibit titled “The Kennedy Conspiracy: Fact & Fiction.” The exhibit focuses on the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy 60 years ago. The JFK assassination exhibit explores some of the conspiracy theories and has several objects on display. Items to be displayed include Kennedy administration campaign materials, NASA Presidential visit badge, and a dress that Marilyn Monroe owned. The general admission ticket includes the exhibit and will run through May 2025.

Families can enjoy the Junior Detective program, which offers unique activities for the kids. The museum offers over 100 exhibits, with many famous items on display, including Ted Bundy’s famous Beetle and the white Bronco from the O.J. Simpson chase. They also hold an annual art contest that puts graffiti in the spotlight.

This top museum is open at 10 am daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for an additional fee for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events. For more information about tickets, discounts, temporary exhibits, and all the museum offers, visit the site:

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has updated its board of crime experts, which includes Derwin Bradley, a retired master police officer, James R. Knight, a crime writer, Robin Maynard, a certified crime scene investigator in Florida, Derek Newport, a law enforcement veteran who was with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 20 years, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who presided in the notorious case against Casey Anthony, among others.