Detector dogs training well under way
Customs Minister Nicky Wagner has met Customs five newest recruits in Auckland.
The Labradors were selected from Australian Border Force’s dog breeding and training facility in Melbourne in August and are three weeks into an extensive three-month training programme.
“Casey, Latte, Flo, Ike, and Que’s skill levels were tested by Customs training officers using tasks and exercises that simulate the operational environments they will experience at the border. They were selected because of their strong search drive, confidence, outgoing nature and good level of socialisation,” Ms Wagner says.
“Budget 2016 invested over $500,000 to boost the total number of detector dog teams across the country from 15 to 20 to provide an extra layer of enforcement at the border.”
“The dogs and their handlers spend three-months learning all the necessary skills to detect criminal activity at the border. They will then undergo Police testing to be certified as fully operational drug detector teams next month.”
“The teams will be placed across New Zealand following graduation, three in Auckland, one in Wellington, and one in Christchurch.”
“Detector dog teams play a vital role at New Zealand’s border. They help to stop drugs, illicit items and large amounts of cash being smuggled into the country and bringing harm to our communities,” Ms Wagner says.
Photo shows Customs officers and detectors dogs with Hon Wagner. From left to right: Senior Customs Officer, Paul Ferguson and Que; Customs Officer, Kat Goddard and Casey; Hon Nicky Wagner; Customs Officer, Daniel Evans and Flo; Customs Officer, Kris Wetherill and Latte; Customs Officer, Josh Taylor and Ike.
Senior Customs Officer Paul Ferguson, Que and Hon Wagner watches as Que inspects packages with Senior Customs Officers Paul Ferguson