The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Canine Training and Operations Center in Front Royal, Va., has graduated its 100th class, ATF announced this week in a release.
The class completed ATF’s accelerant and explosives detection canine and handler program, ATF said. Students in the class were from the U.S. Marshals Service, ATF and the Royal Thai Police.
“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,” said ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones. “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.”
The training program included a 6-week “imprintation” session which helped them learn to detect firearms, ammunition, and more than 19,000 explosives compounds, as well as a 10-week explosives detection canine (EDC) handlers program. The handlers program helped the canines learn to search areas such as schools, vehicles, train stations, warehouses and retail stores, ATF said.
Nearly 1,000 accelerant and explosives canine teams have graduated from the program and have later been deployed across the United States for use in state, local and federal agencies, and across the globe in 21 foreign countries. ATF originally developed the program to target the use of explosives in the United States and abroad, ATF said.