SBI Hosts National Detector Dog Trials April 2-5

RALEIGH

The State Bureau of Investigation is hosting this year’s United States Police Canine Association’s National Detector Dog Trials in Raleigh April 2-5.

Police dogs such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Belgium malinois and even a springer spaniel are among the breeds that will be tested on their ability to sniff and detect narcotics, explosives, accelerants or cadavers.

SBI’s criminal specialist and K-9 Unit coordinator, Ken Mathias, is spearheading the event which attracts detector dogs from local, state and national law enforcement agencies as well as the armed forces and correction departments.

“USPCA is the gold standard of police dog certification,” said Mathias. “They have some of the most rigorous standards in our profession, and this is a very prestigious competition. We are expecting more than 100 police K-9 teams from throughout the United States and Canada, and about 40 dogs from North Carolina law enforcement agencies across the state.”

Detector dogs must prequalify at regional events to enter the more difficult national competition. Awards will be given from first to 15th places.  Mathias said it is an honor to have a national certificate.

“Proper training means that handlers have full control of their dogs, and a properly trained dog will listen to any command the handler gives,” said Mathias. “Dogs at this trial level should perform flawlessly.”

The SBI has 17 detector dogs statewide, and eight will be competing in the national trials. 

The competing SBI drug dogs are two Labradors, Jip and Reesi; a Dutch shepherd named Rayne, and a Belgian malinois named Cajun.

The two bomb dogs are Mayo and Tony, both Labrador retrievers. The cadaver dogs are Bart, a German shepherd, and Stash, a springer spaniel.

A public demonstration of the dogs’ abilities and agility will be given on Saturday, April 1 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at NC State University School of Veterinary Medicine’s open house event on Blue Ridge Road.

Trials and competitions will be conducted at three Raleigh locations: the SBI headquarters on 3320 Garner Road; State Surplus, 6501 Chapel Hill Road; and Dorton Arena, 1025 Blue Ridge Road.  The awards luncheon is at noon on April 5 at the Holiday Inn, 4100 Glenwood Ave.

Mathias started Raleigh Police Departments’ K-9 Unit in 1983, retired, and became the SBI’s dog handler in 2008.  He trains SBI’s detector dogs and travels statewide each year to 100 or more bomb or cadaver cases.  He said he owes his life to one of the police dogs he trained while working for the Raleigh Police Department. While tracking a serial burglar on June 3, 1992, his dog, Meta, grabbed the arm of the suspect, who was hiding in a clump of azalea bushes. The man was holding a cocked gun and Meta would not let go until the man was apprehended. 

“To get an idea of how incredibly trained these dogs are, the public is welcome to the NCSU vet school’s open house on April 1 to watch them perform,” Mathias said.

The USPCA is a non-profit 501(3c) association that provides training and certifications for federal, state, and local law enforcement K-9 programs. The American Kennel Club, the NC State Vet School, SAS Institute, Purina and Capitol Chevrolet are sponsors of the event.

Editors please note:  The best vantage point to photograph the dogs would be at State Surplus which has a platform set up for photographers.

 

Below is a schedule of events:

Saturday, April 1

 

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.    NCSU Vet School Public Demonstration
                                   1060 William Moore Drive, Raleigh

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.           Explosives Dog Training at SBI headquarters
                                    3320 Garner Road, Raleigh

Monday, April 3

Narcotics

Begins at 8 a.m.   Vehicle searches at State Surplus
                             6501 Chapel Hill Road, Raleigh

Begins at 8 a.m.   Room searches at SBI headquarters
                             3320 Garner Road, Raleigh

Explosives

Begins at 8 a.m.   National Odor Recognition test and packages at Dorton Arena
                             State Fair Grounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

Begins at 8 a.m.   Vehicle searches at State Surplus
                              6501 Chapel Hill Road, Raleigh

Begins at 8 a.m.   Room searches at SBI headquarters
                             3320 Garner Road, Raleigh

Begins at 8 a.m.   Human remains detector at SBI headquarters
                             3320 Garner Road, Raleigh

Tuesday, April 4

Explosives

Begins at 8 a.m.   Vehicle searches at State Surplus
                             6501 Chapel Hill Road, Raleigh

Begins at 8 a.m.   Room searches at SBI headquarters
                             3320 Garner Road, Raleigh

Narcotics

Begins at 8 a.m.   Vehicle searches at State Surplus
                             6501 Chapel Hill Road, Raleigh

Begins at 8 a.m.   Room searches at SBI headquarters
                             3320 Garner Road, Raleigh

Human Remains Detector

Begins at 8 a.m.    Human remains detector at SBI headquarters
                                3320 Garner Road, Raleigh 

Wednesday, April 5

8 a.m – noon      Human remains detector – (TBD)
12:00 p.m.          Awards Luncheon at the Holiday Inn
                           4100 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh

 

 

 

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