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Police to extend sniffer dog services to 13 other districts

The Uganda Police Force is in the final stages of extending the services of K9 Unit to 13 districts.

The police K9 is a specialized unit of the Police Force that supports other police departments and units to prevent, detect, and investigate crime. This is done through the use of specifically bred service dogs, which undergo extensive training that enables them to assist their human partners or handlers with a variety of tasks. The most common K9 duties include suspect tracking and apprehension, narcotic and explosive detection, search and rescue, and crowd control and disposal. Currently, the unit is extending support to 91 districts, as well as the Narcotics Department at Entebbe International Airport and other border points with explosives detection dogs.

However, Police Spokesman Fred Enanga says that the police is making preparations to extend services to the districts of Kanungu, Kikagati (Isingiro district), Bukomansimbi (Greater Masaka), Nebbi, Apac, Adjumani, Agago, Butambala, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Kibuku, Bukwo, and Kassanda.

“These 13 additional deployments will bring the number of stations to 104. Each station has at least two (02) sniffer Dogs,” Enanga told the media in Kampala on Monday.

Enanga added: “We continue to expand our K9 services, following the operationalization of our breeding and training center at Nagalama. A great deal of care is put into selecting dogs for police work. It is vital to have a good temperament, be physically fit, inquisitive, well-socialized, bold, have strong motivation, and be keen to interact and play with people. They are continually assessed over a period of time to assess suitability. The cost of importing a trainer sniffer dog from abroad ranges from USD 5000 to USD 15000. Throughout training, the dog’s natural abilities are identified, encouraged, and enhanced. Their speed, stigma and scent detection, and ability to quickly track and catch a suspect are determined.”

According to Enanga, the police dog is rewarded and praised for its hard work and given good food, care, exercise, and protection.

“All police dogs are kept in a police kennel, where they remain bonded with a handler. During operational duties, the dog is housed in the police van, which is specifically adapted for the dog’s safety and comfort. They are regularly watered and exercised by their handlers. Since the establishment of the Nagalama breeding center, the cost of acquiring a sniffer dog has been reduced by more than 80%. We currently have 240 sniffer dogs, and experts expect to reach 300 by the end of this year.”

He commended JLOS and its development partners for their support towards the establishment of a fully-fledged breeding and training center at Nagalama Police Station, the procurement of breeding dogs, the training of instructors at the international level, and the and the provision of 26 motor vehicles and 4 tricycles to facilitate the transport sector.

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