Drug detection dogs lap up training

Thursday October 19, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Cook Islands Police drug detection dogs and their handlers have been put through their paces this week, at various locations around the island. They are pictured here at Raro Freight at the airport. PHOTO: CIPS 17101806 or 17101807   Cook Islands Police drug detection dogs and their handlers have been put through their paces this week, at various locations around the island. They are pictured here at Raro Freight at the airport. PHOTO: CIPS 17101806 or 17101807

The Cook Islands Police Service drug detection dogs are being put through their paces this week.

 

Detective Sergeant Vaine Nooroa Ngametua and Constable Ura Teinaki, both highly-trained handlers, have been joined this week by New Zealand Police Senior Sergeant Chris Best.

The training may be a routine exercise for the officers, but is proving to be invaluable exposure to narcotics detection for service dogs Xela and Max. It’s also a chance for them to be rewarded with “play time” after detecting hidden drug packages, with officers using “positive reinforcement”, says Best.

Both dogs are Labradors, Xela has been on the force for nine years, and Max for the past four years. And they are very busy around the island, being used for border control at the airport and port, as well as in postal service checks and police drug operations.

Police media liaison officer Trevor Pitt says three visits from dog handlers take place each year under a New Zealand government programme designed to maintain the highest standards of performance and responsiveness to evolving drug smuggling trends.

The New Zealand Police provide drug detection dogs and training for the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji.

            - Chris Taylor/ Release

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