FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) – Training is an important part of the job of law enforcement officers, including four-legged ones.
On Tuesday morning, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office held explosives and narcotics trials for K-9s and their handlers.
United States Police Canine Association executive director Don Slavik said today is an important test for K-9s to ensure they are able to demonstrate their ability to find drugs in vehicles.
“This is a sample of what they could do on the street. So there are five vehicles here and we have narcotics hidden on two of the vehicles and they have to find the two narcotics,” Slavik said.
Slavik also says that if the K-9s don’t pass these tests, they will have to return to training.
“The certification is more or less mandated by the courts so that the dogs are actually able to do what they say they can do, and they’re tested on their ability right here, and that’s the most important,” Slavik said.
36 K-9 teams participate in these trials, some from other states.
“We have to stay informed, make sure they stay informed about what we need them to do on the road, whether it’s narcotics or anything else, even just physical fitness of dogs. We have to make sure the dogs can run for a long time, jump, make sure they don’t hurt themselves or whatever because like us, in a few years they wear out. We just want to make sure the dogs are suitable for duty as well,” said Sgt. Brandon Kent of the Thomasville, Georgia Police Department.
According to Slavik, K-9s must pass these tests once a year.
The trials will continue until Thursday.
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