NEWS

Fiji Corrections K9 Unit Boosts Capacity

QCS Chief Superintendent Alan Butler said course participants are put through an intensive training process and were evaluated via a theory-based exams and a practical assessment in the final week.
28 May 2020 12:25
Fiji Corrections K9 Unit Boosts Capacity

The Fiji Corrections Service K9 unit has been further boosted with the graduation of two of its handlers from the Queensland Corrective Services, Australia last week.

The duo are Corrections Officer Class Class C (COC) Aisake Tukana and Corrections Officer Class B (COB) Vilikesa Rokolekutu, who have graduated with certificates in Passive Alert Drug Detection.

The Passive Alert Drug Detection (PADD) Course was conducted at the Queensland Corrective Service Academy for 12 weeks.

The two handlers were given a dog each to train during the duration of the course and managed to pass the course with the two dogs. Unfortunately, due to the many restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, they were not able to bring the two dogs back home.

COC Tukana, 29, who has been a dog handler for the past 6-years said the experience was totally different to him as they had to master a different approach to the dogs to operate in drug detection exercises.

“When we are dealing with drug detection we have to be gentler with our dogs, it was a big learning experience for me and am ready to put this into practice for the FCS.”

For 27-year old, COB Rokolekutu, the 12-weeks was challenging but very educational.

“It was my first trip overseas and I have never been away for that long from my wife and kids.

“The course really boosted my dog handling skills and this will help us fight the drug issues we have in our correction centres here in Fiji,’’ he said.

QCS Chief Superintendent Alan Butler said course participants are put through an intensive training process and were evaluated via a theory-based exams and a practical assessment in the final week.

“Evaluation of suitability and performance of the trainee dog handler is carried out during the course,’’ he said.

“They will now know how to search for illicit substances in targeted areas when they return to their institutions.”

FCS Commissioner Commander Francis Kean thanked Chief Superintendent Butler and the Queensland Correction Service for opening its doors to the Fiji Correction Service in the development and training of its personnel.

“To date we have had five of our personnel graduating from QCS in specialized fields and currently another two of our Junior Officers are yet to return to Australia and complete the second block of their studies once these restrictions are lifted.”

The new graduates are currently under quarantine in Nadi as a requirement of those travelling into Fiji and are expected to return to work next month.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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