The Hon Michael Keenan MP.
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4 years ago
The Hon Michael Keenan MP
Today, we have celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Canine Operations Centre by showcasing these skilled dogs and their handlers.

The centre opened in December 2007, with $10.8 million in funding from the Federal Government to expand the AFP's canine program and construct a purpose-built and state-of-the-art operations centre.

The centre marked a shift beyond traditional areas of firearms and explosives to include currency and drug detection dogs.

62 kennels, a fully functioning aircraft baggage conveyor belt, a simulation house and warehouse facility, and underground search pits are among the facilities at the centre.

The dogs are generally introduced at 12 months of age to begin an intensive 13 week training program with a handler.

Both the dog and handler are continually assessed over these 13 weeks to ensure they are capable of working in a range of environments and conditions.

Once training is complete, they are deployed to locations across Australia to perform roles in aviation safety or participate in responses to serious crimes and counter terrorism operations.

Today I am also announcing the first handler and canines to be recognised on the AFP Canine Wall of Excellence.

Senior Constable Simon Aldridge and his drug detection dog Hayley are being recognised for winning the Australia and New Zealand Police Dog Trials 'Narcotic Detection Team' last year and numerous successes throughout their many years of service.

Currency and detection dog Atlas is being recognised as the longest serving dog to date for the AFP, with significant amounts of currency and drugs detected during his 9 years of service.

The Federal Government's continued financial support of this capability has helped train 119 canines since 2007 to locate explosives, firearms, drugs and currency.

This is an important part of the Australian Federal Police and our community - utilising the amazing skills of these dogs and their handlers to keep all Australians safe.
AFP canine program counter terrorism operations Police Dogs security