Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

March 28, 2012

Contact: Special Agent Trista Frederick, PIO

(816) 559-0724

ATF Trains Bomb-Sniffing Dogs to Identify Homemade Explosives

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Kansas City Field Division is holding a three-day training event for explosives detection canines.

Tuesday through Thursday, instructors from ATF’s National Canine Training and Operations Center, based in Front Royal, Va., will train and certify explosives detection canines from throughout the Midwest. The canines will be tested using the National Odor Recognition Test (NORT), which was developed by explosives experts and chemists. The dogs will also receive specialized imprinting to recognize peroxidebased explosives.

This explosives detection canine training is a two-phase process. In phase one, canines learn to recognize (or are imprinted) and alert on various explosives odors. In phase two, canines train to use their ability in the environments in which they will work. The canines are then tested for certification. The test involves recognition of explosives odors. A blind test method is used (meaning the handler does not know where the explosives samples are placed). This helps verify that the canine is actually recognizing explosives odors and not responding to other cues. Canines must make positive responses on all explosives odors to successfully pass the test. The canines that pass the NORT will be certified for a two-year period.

More than 15 teams from throughout the Midwest are participating in the training. Explosives detection canine teams from the Federal Protective Service, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department; Olathe, Kan., Fire Department; Fort Leavenworth; Fort Riley, Kan., and the St. Louis Lambert International Airport Police Department are among the agencies attending. The Kansas City Aviation Department, Airport Police Division provided the facility for the event.

ATF is the federal agency responsible for establishing certification standards for explosives detection canines. For more information about ATF, go to Follow @ATFHQ on Twitter.

ATF Canine