The relatively low cost of about $13 to purchase and train each of the rodents makes them competitive with police dogs, which can cost hundreds of dollars more to obtain and be readied for duty.
“They (rats) need barely 10 to 15 days to learn to distinguish a certain smell,” the policewoman in charge of the project, Monique Hamerslag, told the French press agency.
The rat detectives might be called upon as early as next year.
But unlike dogs, rats are shy and don’t do well working at crime scenes, such as finding where bodies are located or sniffing out drugs in shipping containers.
However, they do well in identifying evidence brought to them in a controlled and quiet setting.
Photo: Dutch Police Handout