Dogs helping to fight crime

April 28, 2018
Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang (second left), observes as main trainer with United States-based dog-training company, Stellar K-9, Marcelo Montiel (right), demonstrates the complete obedience proficiency of one of the dual purpose dogs that make up the team of 61 highly trained dogs at the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Canine Division.

Head of the Canine Division Superintendent of Police Dalton Wright boasts that the dogs, along with their human counterparts, "have been doing a tremendous job" in helping to fight crime.

"We have found [many] firearms and illegal drugs (such as cocaine and ganja), and we have been doing [various activities] for safety purposes," Wright said.

He explained that the division also specialises in carrying out search-and-rescue operations, as well as a cadaver service, which involves locating human remains.

"Our cadaver dogs have been working marvellously, in the sense that they have been finding a lot of human remains that are connected to various crimes. So they help in the crime-fighting machinery that we have in Jamaica and will continue to do so," he said.

There are 61 highly trained dogs in the division.




Between January 1, 2011, and April 21, 2018, the division's numerous operations led to the arrest of 193 foreigners and locals.

"The persons were arrested for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act, and the cases were brought before the court and disposed of," Superintendent Wright said.

There were 224 drug detections, including cocaine amounting to 378.7lb; marijuana - 8,480.47lb; hashish - 292.75 ounces; hash oil - 656 ounces; and liquid cocaine - 14 quarts.

Also, during the period, the division seized cash totalling $328,505 in local currency and US$32,520. Two motor vehicles were also seized.

In 2015, the division carried out 48 operations that led to the discovery of 117 weapons and several rounds of ammunition. These included 116 A1 rifles, one Smith and Wesson handgun, fourteen 5.56 cartridges; three .38 cartridges, 53 nine-millimetre cartridges and two nine millimetre magazines.

In terms of search-and-rescue operations, in 2016, the canines were instrumental in recovering the bodies of two American missionaries in a shallow grave. The men were allegedly murdered in St Mary.

"The drugs, firearms and ammunition found were sent to the Government Forensic Laboratory for testing... (and) the contraband was destroyed in accordance with force policy," Superintendent Wright explains.

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