Pubdate: Wed, 23 Aug 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Alanna Smith
Page: 16


Alberta shepherds in new era in global fight against fentanyl

INNISFAIL - Alberta is leading the world in fentanyl detection, having
developed the first safe method for police dogs to detect the deadly

All but one of the 136 drug-detecting dogs schooled at the RCMP
facility just north of Calgary have been trained to aid in the
fentanyl crisis that's taking thousands of live.

The RCMP developed a liquid solution for training because powdered
fentanyl was too dangerous.

The equivalent of just two grains of salt is enough to kill someone
and was the reason agencies across the world didn't attempt to develop
the solution themselves, said Staff Sgt. Gary Creed, senior trainer
for the RCMP police dog service.

Since the program's inception over 14,000 fentanyl pills have been
seized thanks to trained canines.

"If you consider that every pill has the potential to kill somebody,
then this has a huge impact," said Creed.

The RCMP began developing the method in November of 2015 and were
performing trials by June, said Creed. The RCMP Clandestine Laboratory
Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) team create the liquid fentanyl by
combining a small amount of the opioid with sterile distilled water.

After the powder dissolves, the team uses a syringe to place 10 drops
of the liquid onto a makeup remover pad.

The pads are then placed in containers and used to train the dogs.
They are taught to sniff out fentanyl in holes in the wall, suitcases
and drawers.

Eve, a five-and-a-half-yearold German Shepard was first introduced to
fentanyl in June. In a demonstration on Tuesday she was introduced for
the second time.

In a matter of seconds she sniffed out the deadly drug.

The diluted liquid allows dogs to smell fentanyl without the risk of
inhaling it. Once they detect the opioid they are trained to sit down.

Ghadban said the program has garnered worldwide attention with recent
visits from partners in Mexico and the U.S. to learn the technique.
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