RCMP dogs trained to detect human remains

November 6, 2017 11:01 am

The first two RCMP dog teams to be trained by the RCMP to detect human
remains finished their training last Friday at the RCMP Police Dog
Service Training Centre (PDSTC) in Innisfail, Alberta.

The RCMP is the only Canadian police agency using real human remains to
train its dogs. Typically, animal source material or medical waste are
used to train police dogs.

"Using real human remains enables us to teach the dogs the exact odour
they will be looking for. This way, they can rapidly differentiate
between animal and human remains and locate human remains more
effectively," explains Sergeant Robert Heppell, Dog Team Trainer in
charge of the human remains detection training at the RCMP PDSTC.

The human remains used for the training of RCMP dogs are provided by
the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service through a donor program. Donors
and their families have specifically chosen to give their remains to the
RCMP human remains detection dog training program.

"This additional dog skill will have a direct impact on the RCMPs
ability to collect evidence for ongoing investigations, to make progress
in historical investigations and to provide closure to grieving
families," says Inspector Akrum Ghadban, Officer in Charge of the RCMP
Police Dog Service.

The four dog teams participating in this first training are from
British Columbia (E Division), Alberta (K Division), Manitoba (D
Division) and Nova Scotia (H Division).

The dogs teams from British Columbia and Nova Scotia are today fully
operational. The dog teams from Alberta and Manitoba are expected to
have completed their training by this Friday.

Currently, there are 166 RCMP dog teams across Canada. They will be
trained on human remains detection according to the needs of the