LAFD Mourns the Passing of Accelerant Detection Canine, Major

Friday, January 10, 2020
Headshot of a black labrador named Major who was an Accelerant Detection canine for the LAFD

It is with great sadness that the LAFD announces the death of Arson Detection Canine (ret.), “Major.”  Major passed away on December 27th at home with his handler Arson Accelerant Detection Investigator (ret.) Frankie Oglesby.  Major was assigned to the LAFD’s Arson Counter Terrorism Section from December 14, 2008 through April 30, 2016 at which time he retired from active service.

Major’s life was devoted to public service.  He was born on October 3, 2007, and raised in the “Puppies Behind Bars Program.” When old enough, he served as a mascot at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  After his duty at the military academy, Major entered service with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as an accelerant detection canine.  It was here that he found his true calling.  In 2008, Major was certified and graduated from Class #81 at National Canine Training Center and was assigned to the LAFD.  

For the next seven and half years, Major responded to approximately 1,840 fire scenes.  While based in Los Angeles, Major responded to significant fires throughout the United States and abroad as a member of both the ATF’s National Response Team and the Los Angeles House of Worship Arson Task Force.    

With Major’s help, investigators and detectives from local, state, and federal agencies were able to apprehend hundreds of arsonists who otherwise might have escaped justice.  

Major was the third Arson Accelerant Detection Canine assigned to the LAFD Arson Counter Terrorism Section as part of our partnership with the ATF that has spanned three decades. 

Major was an ambassador to younger generations, helping to educate children about fire safety.  With his help, Los Angeles has become a safer city.   

Even in retirement Major was never far from his LAFD family.  Dogs always seem to gravitate to the person that needs them the most.  For Major, it was the City of Los Angeles that needed him the most.

Major on a leash held by his handler, sniffing a singed door mat for clues.Major and his handler examine the charred remains inside an ash and charcoal filled room, after a structure fire.Major standing in the rain next to a black fire department Chevy Suburban, patiently waiting as his handler reaches for the rear driver-side door handle. LAFD fire truck and engine can be seen in the background in front of a 2-story home with fire damage.

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