Pubdate: Sun, 14 Jan 2018
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2018 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Catherine Griwkowsky
Page: 4


Made-in-Alberta protocols change ways dogs sniff out fentanyl

Alberta RCMP is leading the way when it comes to new police service
dog drug detection protocols.

Previously, sticking their nose in drugs was a police dog's business,
but now the canines sit beside suspected drugs when they are found,
said K Division Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean in a year-end interview.

"Now the dogs are sitting back ... so if they detect it - versus
putting the dogs in harm's way - they sit," Shearn said.

The new training was started in Canada at the Innisfail training
facility, and "K"Division officers have done demonstrations and
training for police departments across the continent with officers
from the United States and Mexico already receiving training and a
long wait list of others hoping to learn the new techniques.

"It was quite spectacular to watch," Shean said.

Because powdered fentanyl is so potent, the RCMP created a liquid form
for training purposes. Ten drops of the liquid are placed on a makeup
remover pad and hidden away for the German Shepherds to find in their

Dog handlers now carry a nasal naloxone spray, which works on canines
and humans to stop an overdose.

The new protocols were needed as Alberta police made record drug busts
in 2017, fuelled in part by the growing fentanyl crisis.

In July 2017, the Mounties and Edmonton Police Service busted a drug
trafficking operation that had the largest fentanyl pill seizure in
Canada with an estimated $4 million in illegal substances at a
Sturgeon County home being used as a fentanyl processing lab.

On Dec. 2, 2017, Mounties and the Canadian Border Services Agency
seized close to 100 kgs of cocaine in 84 bricks.

According to Alberta Health, there were 482 accidental opioid overdose
deaths up to the third quarter of 2017, an increase from 346 in 2016
at the same time period.
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