By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Law enforcement officials at Independence National Historical Park have a new partner, a K-9 ranger named “Ken Franklin.”

“This is a very special badge — wear it proudly, Ken,” said Independence National Historical Park superintendent Cynthia MacLeod as she placed a collar with a National Park Service ranger badge around the neck of Ken Franklin, a 2½-year-old german shepherd.

Authorities say he is able to detect a wide variety of explosives.

National Park Service dog handler Nick Iannelli says unattended bags must often be examined by park rangers and Ken will now help with that, adding an extra layer of protection.

“Now we have Ken, who can just walk by and with his nose check before anyone manually has to open it, so it’s a lot safer that way,” Iannelli tells KYW Newsradio.

When Ken is working he’ll be wearing a vest that says “Police.”  Visitors are being asked not to pet him while he’s on duty.