Sixteen sniffer dogs and their handlers Wednesday completed a two-week training in basic explosive and narcotic detection handlers and kennel management course at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) Canine Headquarters in Gasabo District.
Dubbed K9, the 16 sniffer dogs comprise of German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois. They arrived from the Police Dogs Centre Holland in the Netherlands early this month.
Rwanda National Police’s Canine Brigade said that the dogs had been trained in detecting explosives and narcotic drugs back in the Netherlands, but had to undergo similar drills to familiarise with their new handlers.
During the intensive training, the K9 and their handlers covered key training areas such as vehicle search, luggage search, boxes, and open area search, obedience and dog behaviour among others, police said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, said: “Using sniffer dogs for crime prevention and detection is one of the policing means that has proven successful all over the world.”
“One K9 dog can do work that can be done by at least 50 police officers both in investigations and detection, the skills and experience you have acquired from these experienced trainers should enhance your professional policing capacity,” he told the handlers.
He added that police acknowledge the valuable work done by K9 specialists in preventing serious crimes related to narcotics and explosives at borders and inside the country.
Ramon Guerain, the chief trainer from the Police Dogs Centre Holland, commended the K9 handlers discipline, commitment and energy displayed by K9 officers during the training.
“Dogs have the ability to perform better under the supervision of experienced handlers,” Ramon noted, appealing to the officers to always train more with the new sniffer dogs.
The K9 police dog unit plays a key role in maintaining public peace and keeping everyone safe.
They are just as much a part of the police force as the officers who patrol the streets and investigate crime scenes.