By Ngamije Festo
Police Dog Unit was created in 2000. It started with three dog handlers and two dogs donated by the government of Austria which also trained the handlers with the objective of fighting drugs of abuse; basically it was a section with in the CID.
In 2002, it was merged with fire and formed one Unit,(Fire and Canine Brigade) it was in the same Year that RNP purchased two dogs from local breeder, Since the force did not have Explosive Detector dogs, the force sent two dog handlers to National Demining Office (Rebero) for six month’s Training in that field.
In 2005 the Sudan government through EAPCO trained two dog handlers and donated other two dogs (Explosive Detectors).
In Early 2006 the Unit was separated from fire and became a fully fledged Unit.
In 2007 RNP purchased five dogs and deployed fifteen Dog handlers/Veterinary assistants to the unit trained they were trained by Kenyan experts.
2008 Unit Headquarters constructed in Gacuriro with modern dog clinic.
In 2009 RNP purchased five dogs and deployed fifteen Dog handlers who will soon be trained as Dog Handlers.
CAPACITY STATEMENT OF THE UNIT
The Unit has thirty-nine Police officers, out of whom twenty Police officers were trained as Dog handlers. The unit is now able to detect different types of Explosives and different drugs of abuse.
SUCCES STORY OF THE UNIT
The Unit apprehended the following:
A Russian with Marijuana
A Rwandese trafficker caught with Cocaine, Heroin and Cannabis
A Tanzanian with Heroine, he had swallowed sixty three pellets and was deported back home to face Trial.
On 7th November 2009, in MUSANZE and BURERA Districts the unit found 427 pellets of cannabis
On 27th January 2010, in Central (1930) and Kimironko Prisons the unit found drugs valued at thousands of Rwanda francs.
On 20th March 2010, at KIGALI-RUHENGERI Road the unit with the help of dogs the force got 4000 pellets of cannabis.
The unit faces a lot of challenges which include lack of specialized training, lack of deminers (bomb experts, lack of special Anti-Terrorism dogs.
The unit also lacks tracking dogs, patrol dogs, anti-riot dogs, scent discriminators and veterinary surgeons.
The force intends to have enough dogs and personnel in order to deploy in all the 69 Police Stations countrywide.
The unit Head Quarters and Kennels are currently under construction and will be ready soon.
The unit is planning to deploy dogs on our boarder posts which we suspect are used by drug traffickers.
In order to achieve the above strategic objectives the Rwanda National Police is embarking on breeding of dogs so as to reduce the money spent on purchasing them, in conclusion, the force intends to organize advanced courses for dog handlers in order to improve their capacity in dealing with the crime trend.