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Valley law enforcement K9s undergo explosive detection training

PHOENIX — A federal initiative that aims to improve the explosive detection canine teams for state and local law enforcement has made its way to the Valley.

Regional Explosives Detection Dog Initiative, also known as REDDI, is an outreach effort led by the Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is to improve “explosive detection canine team training effectiveness and efficiency in order to improve overall operational proficiency,” according to the website.

And on Thursday, five Valley law enforcement agencies — Phoenix, Mesa and Goodyear Police Departments, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety — took part in the REDDI training.

The two-day training included teaching canines how to find a bomb in a motorcade and showing their handlers the latest on explosives and devices, as well as things that terrorists might use. Canines also underwent classroom instruction and odor exercises and demonstrations.

“We are thrilled not only to be chosen to host this dynamic training event, but even more honored to be the first in the southwest region of the United States to host such an important training event for our regional law enforcement partners,” said Goodyear Police Chief Jerry Geier.

Don Roberts, the detection K-9 program manager for the Department of Homeland Security, said REDDI helps law enforcement officers “maximize the effectiveness of their training.”

“Part of our role…is to share knowledge about the emerging threats and to expose them to that in an operational scenario,” Roberts said.

Goodyear Officer Jared Jordan said he is happy his canine partner Bosco is learning new tricks. “Black powder for example – imprinting is basically teaching them that odor, and a response to that odor.”


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