Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2012
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
ATF Graduates 100th Detection Canine Class
Almost 1,000 Accelerant and Explosives Canine Teams Trained
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today graduated the 100th class in its accelerant and explosives detection canine and handler program in a ceremony at its National Canine Training and Operations Center in Front Royal, Va. ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones addressed the class, which included students from the Royal Thai Police, U.S. Marshals Service and ATF. Officials from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Marshals Service and dignitaries from Thailand attended the ceremony.
"The ATF canine program helps fight violent crime and protect public safety, and is recognized as a leader in the explosives and accelerant detection canine communities. The demand for these specially-trained canines capable of detecting a wide range of odors is continually growing. These ATF-certified canines have proven to be a tremendously valuable tool for investigative and law enforcement partners at home and around the globe," said Jones.
Prior to the 10-week explosives detection canine (EDC) handlers program, the canines underwent a separate 6-week "imprintation" training session that conditioned them to recognize more than 19,000 explosives compounds, and to detect firearms and ammunition. After the imprinting process, the canines were paired with their handlers for another 10-week training period during which they learned to search in areas such as schools, vehicles, train stations, warehouses, retail stores and other facilities.
ATF developed the EDC program to combat the threat of explosives in the United States and abroad. In 1994, the bureau developed a partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Anti-Terrorism Assistance program to produce more effective EDCs that are capable of detecting a greater variety of explosives than previously available.
ATF has trained almost 1,000 explosives and accelerant detection canines that have been deployed across the United States with state, local and federal agencies, and around the globe in 21 foreign countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Morocco and the Philippines. EDC teams are recertified each year and receive continuous support from ATF throughout the approximately eight-year working life. In the United States, EDC teams are used during criminal investigations and for protective search and sweep operations.
More information about ATF's canine programs is located at http://www.atf.gov/publications/factsheets/factsheet-accelerant-detection-canines.html. For additional information about ATF, visit www.atf.gov.