Four Royal Cayman Islands Police Service K-9 officers and their police dogs were officially certified on Tuesday after completing a three-week course on general purpose and narcotics work.
The certification means these officers and their dogs have received training on par with standards in the U.S. and U.K., according to the RCIPS.
The training was conducted by Constable Keiron Davies, who himself recently completed a K-9 instructor course in Michigan. He is now able to deliver the equivalent of the U.S. training locally.
The RCIPS K-9 unit consists of four police dogs and four handlers: three general purpose dogs and one “passive” dog.
The three general purpose dogs and handlers – Mr. Davies and his police dog Shadow, Constable Laura Hicks and her dog Athena, and Constable Margaret Baldino and her police dog Baron – are trained to track and apprehend suspects, search vehicles and premises for narcotics and firearms, search for currency, and locate items that have recently been discarded or hidden, the RCIPS stated.
The passive dog – Inca, handled by Constable Kevin Alleyne – is trained to scan people for drugs and firearms, and to search vehicles and premises. Being a passive dog means that she can more easily be used in public locations such as beaches and at public functions, the RCIPS stated.
“With the completion of this training, and the addition of a passive dog and a third general purpose dog, the RCIPS K-9 Unit is now at full strength,” said RCIPS Acting Superintendent Brad Ebanks, who oversees the unit. “Because each has different advantages, having both passive and general purpose dogs gives us even more tools in our mission to enhance the safety and security of our islands.”