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France Embassy holds training session for explosive/dog handlers

By Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, July 24, GNA – The France Embassy in
Accra has organised a training session for 12 explosive and drug detection dog
handlers from the Sniffer Dogs Academy in Accra.

A statement issued by the French Embassy and
copied to the Ghana News Agency said the session, begun with the two French
officers from the Dog Training Center in Cannes Ecluse in France, bomb
detection expert Brigadier Christophe Bihoreau and drug detection expert
Brigadier Stéphan Filipic, conducting an assessment of the six sniffer dogs and
the group of 12 trainees made up of six military officers and six officers from
Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) who were selected for the training.

It noted that as the assessment revealed a
poor level of motivation on the part of the sniffer dogs, the experts decided
to increase the level of interaction between the canines and their handlers by
engaging them in training exercises on the field.

It said next, following the request of the
Authorities of the Academy, the training officers tested a total of 65 month
old puppies, which were being bred for future training as sniffer dogs, nine of
which belong to the Military and seven to the Immigration Service.

It said the trainees were also taught specific
recruitment tests to carry out in order to ensure an effective selection
process.

The statement said practical aspect of the
training was conducted at the Kotoka International Airport where the handlers
and their dogs demonstrated their newly acquired skills on the luggage of
travellers at the international arrival hall of the airport.

It said the closing ceremony was attended by
the Ambassador of France to Ghana, Mr François Pujolas; the Executive Secretary
of NACOB, Provost Marshall Commey; and representatives from both the Ministry
of the Interior and Parliament.

The Ambassador of France emphasized on
“the importance of security and stability in Ghana and the sub-region in
order to ensure progress in economic development”.

He stressed the need to develop initiatives
like this one to better train security agencies officers in Ghana.

Mr Pojulas declared that “the regional
position of this academy will serve to improve Ghana’s integration in West
Africa.

“This is a new and concrete step towards
a more integrated approach in the common fight of concerned countries against
criminal activities,” he added.

The Head of the Academy requested that this
cooperation exercise be continued next year in order to establish the Academy
as a sniffer dog training centre of excellence, to train not only handlers in
Ghana but also those from neighbouring countries.

This, Provost Marshall Commey said, would make
the Sniffer Dog Academy the first of its kind in the sub-region, maintaining
security for all.

The Sniffer Dog Academy, which is managed by
the Ghanaian Military, has a total of 35 dogs made up of attack dogs and bomb
detection dogs that are handled by military officers and drug detection dogs
that are handled by the NACOB.

GNA

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