Trained in contraband detection

Six Delaware Department of Correction K-9 handlers and their dogs recently earned Contraband Dog Certification from the United States Police Canine Association.

The United States Police Canine Association is the nation’s oldest and largest police K-9 organization. They train and certify police dogs in general patrol, tracking, protection, narcotic detection, contraband, search and rescue, explosive detection and arson use.

Each team participated in a ten-week training class and was assessed on their ability to detect and discover cellphones, drugs and other contraband commonly found in and around a correctional institution.

"The training starts with imprinting each dog on the desired odors. The process begins by introducing the odors along with their favorite reward toys such as tennis balls. As the dogs are successfully able to identify the new odor, the hides become increasingly more complex in order to prepare the dogs for the real prison environment," said DOC Office of the Commissioner Public Information Officer Kate Weber.

“Our K-9 teams are an invaluable asset to the safety and security of our correctional facilities,” said Commissioner Perry Phelps. “Achieving USPCA contraband certification is another example of our dedication to public safety and the residents of the State of Delaware.”