- Three new drug-detecting dogs and their handlers graduated today
- Completed 10-week course to detect contraband, including drugs, in WA jails
- Part of wider reform of stopping drugs getting into prisons
Western Australia's Drug Detection Unit (DDU) has three new canine recruits and their handlers to join the fight against contraband in WA jails.
The dogs, Ziggy, Ness and Gavin, and their new Drug Detection Officers (handlers), Andrew, Penelope and Asa today graduated from the 10-week Passive Alert Detector program run by the Department of Justice.
The DDU dogs have been trained to detect a wide range of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine.
The dogs and their handlers help maintain safety and security in WA prisons, searching not only cells and prisoners but also visitors.
Their searching functions are supported by random and targeted searches of offenders and visitors, urinalysis of offenders in custody, body scanners and other methods, including the sharing of intelligence between agencies.
The dogs were selected from the Australian Border Force Dog Breeding Program.
Once trained, the new DDU dog and handler teams are mentored by an operational dog and handler across a nine-week period until they are ready to begin solo search operations at prisons.
One DDU dog team will go to Bunbury Regional Prison, and the other teams will operate throughout metropolitan prisons, including providing high-level support for the new Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"I congratulate all of our newest recruits in joining the fight to keep drugs and other contraband out of our jails.
"These dogs are highly trained and with their handlers can make a significant difference in efforts to keep drugs out of jails, as well as other contraband.
"We are stepping up the fight against drugs and contraband in WA jails with a range of measures, including establishing a first of its kind alcohol and drug treatment prison to reduce demand and behind the scenes measures that will be announced in due course."
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall:
"DDU dog handler teams play a key role in helping the Department of Justice ensure the ongoing safety and security of WA prisons and, in turn, the local community.
"The new graduates will join a number of active PAD dog teams across the State and support active measures taken by the department to prevent, deter and disrupt illicit drugs from entering correctional facilities."
Minister's office - 6552 6300