The Townsville Correctional Complex (TCC) dog squad returned to the annual Townsville Pet Expo this weekend to educate the community about their vital role in keeping prisons and the community safe.
Queensland Corrective Services’ dog squad includes passive alert drug detection (PADD) dogs that detect and prevent contraband entering correctional centres, and general duties dogs that help ensure the safety of officers inside prisons.
TCC General Manager Peter Hall said the crowd-pleasing demonstrations showcased the dog squad’s effective skills and abilities.
“Handler Paul and his general duties dog Kato, a German Shepherd, demonstrated their high level of discipline with a display of a controlled ‘bite and subdue’ offender threat exercise.
“Handler Glen and his PADD dog Cooper, a Springer Spaniel, demonstrated their ability to search and locate target odours on a group of volunteers from the audience.
“These demonstrations show the high level of skills and commitment invested in the training of the handlers and their dogs,” Mr Hall said.
Three-month training courses cover practical skills such as obedience, tracking, article searching criminal work and theoretical components such as legislation, first aid training, tracking and principles of dog training.
Mr Hall said QCS’ attendance at the Pet Expo was an opportunity to not only showcase these skills, but also to highlight the vital role the dog squad plays in keeping prisons safe.
“The number one priority for handlers and their dogs is the safety and security of their colleagues and prisoners.
“General duties dogs and their handlers are deployed in correctional centres when incidents occur to manage risks and contain situations safely, while PADD dogs are deployed to detect and seize contraband, such as illicit drugs, which threaten the safety and security of officers and prisoners,” Mr Hall said.
Four handlers and their dogs provided three demonstrations during the Townsville City Council’s Pet Expo last Sunday.