New graduates and dogs into DCS Drug Detection Unit

The Drug Detection Unit saw three new dogs and their handlers graduate today, after completing a 10 week course to detect contraband, including drugs, as part of a reform to stop drugs getting into WA jails.

Ziggy, Ness and Gavin, have been trained to detect a wide range of illegal drugs, and will assist the Drug Detection Officers maintain security and safety in WA Prisons.

Corrective Services Minister, Fran Logan, congratulates the newest recruits, and said these highly trained dogs and their handlers can make a significant difference to stopping contraband coming into the prison facilities.

“We are stepping up the fight against drugs and contraband in WA jails with a range of measures,”

“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,” he said.

Once training is completed, the dogs and their handlers will commence 9 weeks of on-the-job training and then deployed across the State or used in planned and unplanned operations.

Penny, and her dog Gavin, have a formed a great bond, in which they will soon be a family and work colleagues all in one. Gavin will live with Penny at home, and will work until retirement at approximately 8 years old.

Penny joined the unit to provide service to the community, alongside continuing her passion and love for animals.

“Working with Gavin has been fabulous, he’s only a pup, he’s only 2.5 years old… So they’re quite excitable but they learn very very quickly and it’s been incredible watching the progress with the dogs,” she said.

Did you pick Gavin, or did Gavin pick you?

“Little bit of both… The department matched us up, and they’ve really chosen the best dogs for our personal needs and the work we will be doing,”

Corrective Services Commissioner, Tony Hassall said the DDU dog handler teams play a key role in the security measures of WA prisons.

“It’s a constant challenge, people keep testing our security layers. They’re a key component of that.” he said.

“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.”

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