Training for first K-9 unit in Bohol starts

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Training for first K-9 unit in Bohol starts

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K9 unit

Chief trainer Mario Silva poses with bomb-sniffing dogs and their handlers who will be part of the province’s first ever police K9 unit.

Potential personnel of Bohol’s first ever police K9 unit which was allotted a P1-million budget by the provincial government are undergoing training in handling newly procured bomb-sniffing dogs in a bid to improve security in the province particularly during big events.

According to Mario Silva, a Portuguese national who is the program’s chief instructor, the composite team will be comprised of 10 dogs, which were donated by a private organization, and nine holders.

Five of the potential dog-holders are from the Philippine National Police and the private sector while four are from Bohol’s emergency response unit TARSIER 117.

Once they complete the training, Silva said that the K9 unit may be deployed for public security and protection, narcotic and bomb detection, and search and rescue operations.

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Authorities are eyeing the deployment of the group in public areas that need extra security such as the province’s lone airport and seaports, and events that draw large crowds.

Although the unit is only on the second week of the six-month course, the K9 squad can already be utilized to provide additional security during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings in April, Silva said.

Around 66 hours of training are already enough to prepare the team in carrying out its duties as they are deployed,he added.

Silva who has been training dogs for law enforcement for 20 years acknowledged Gov. Edgar Chatto’s efforts to utilize a K9 unit to boost security in the province particularly as tourist influx continues to grow. (Allen Doydora)

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