The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has a new nose to help point them in the right direction and sniff out the bad guys.

The department introduced an 11-week-old Bloodhound named 'Windy' as the newest member of a well-established canine team.

Officials said the canine team has helped locate and identify hundreds of people throughout Riverside County and the state of California since its introduction in 1998.

Windy was chosen through a comprehensive selection process. She'll be joining the tracking team, which is comprised of three other dogs:

  • Inga, a 7-year-old Bloodhound
  • Mandy, a 6-year-old Bloodhound
  • Marley, a 6-year-old German Shepherd
  • Windy, 11-week-old Bloodhound

Officials said 'tracking Bloodhounds' are different than their 'patrol canine' counterparts because they aren't easily interchangeable and remain with the same handler throughout their working career. 

Windy will soon initiate the one-year training process with her new partner, Deputy Robert Ochoa. Bloodhounds are matched with their partners when the dog is still a puppy to help with the longstanding working relationship, officials said.

The Bloodhound and its handler spend every working moment together.

Windy was acquired through a generous private donation to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department canine program.

Deputies said tracking dogs are often used in urban, mountain and desert communities. The department sees the benefits from the canines ability to track people classified as criminal, at risk, or missing.