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Four Teams Graduate Indiana Conservation Officer K-9 School

Four K-9 teams were recognized for completing the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Law Enforcement’s nine-week K-9 Resource Protection program during a graduation ceremony held on the south lawn of the Indiana Statehouse. The teams came from Indiana and Arkansas.

Indiana’s K-9 program started in 1997 with a pilot program of two teams. Because of its effectiveness, the program has grown to 13 K-9 teams throughout the state. At least one K-9 unit serves in each of the 10 Indiana DNR Law Enforcement districts.

The Indiana K-9 program is well respected in the state and consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best. In addition to this year’s graduating team from Arkansas, Indiana has also helped start and train teams from natural resource agencies in Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, as well as from the African country of Zambia.

All K-9s are trained to locate ginseng, as well as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl. They may also be trained to locate other species, depending on where in Indiana the handler is stationed.

The K-9 program also trains Indiana teams in wildlife detection and article searches, and they especially excel in man-tracking and locating firearms.

K-9 teams have been especially helpful in stopping poaching. They have been used to find concealed game and firearms, shell casings in road hunting and hunting-with-a-spotlight cases, and poachers hiding from officers. They are also used to find lost hunters.

Because of their unique abilities, K-9 units are often requested by other state and local law enforcement agencies for help in locating evidence, missing persons, or fleeing felons.

The Waynedale News Staff
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