For the past eight weeks the Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) has provided two officers from HM Customs Gibraltar with Drugs Detection Dog Handlers training.
The course, held at the GDP Dog Section at Devils Tower Camp, was delivered to UK standards by a GDP Instructor and encompassed a number of modules including Contamination Protocols, Animal Welfare, Canine First Aid and Searching of Artefacts or Objects.
The two Customs officers were also provided with scenario-based training, which simulated operational deployment allowing the assessment of the dog teams.
The course also entailed weekly exams and various practical presentations which the officers had to deliver in order for their communication and interpersonal skills to be assessed.
On successfully completing their training, training inspector Eric Olivero presented the two HM Customs officers with their certificates at the Defence Police Headquarters in the Naval Base.
Insp Olivero said: “It is a privilege to have afforded this training to our colleagues at HM Customs. The positive side of providing the training locally is that it minimises costs and also means that officers are not separated from their families whilst training abroad. The GDP will continue to support HM Customs’ officers in their professional development.”
The Collector of Customs, John Rodriguez, said: “I wish to thank the Gibraltar Defence Police for delivering what has been a very comprehensive and well-structured drugs and cash detector dog handlers’ course. Going forward, these very valuable assets will enable us to further detect and prevent the importation of illegal drugs and crime-related cash into our community’.
Presently, the Customs Dog Section is housed at Devils Tower Camp until such time as kennels are built at the new Customs House.