MPs host second Multi-national K-9 Conference

Spec. Vincent Oliver
First published in
SFOR Informer#145, August 15, 2002

The 549th Military Police Company hosted the second Multinational K-9 (specially trained Military Police dogs) Conference held at the Bratunac dog-training compound July 27. Professional dog handlers from the 549th MP Co., Tuzla police department (Federation), Republika Srpska (RS) police department, Germany and Italy participated in the day's events. Handlers showcased techniques in basic obedience commands, drug and ordnance detection and suspect takedown and control procedures.

Bratunac - Police officers from the RS were the first to display their K-9s' talents. Lining up in a single rank 12 deep, handlers and K-9s impressed the crowd of nearly 100 spectators with the strict discipline the dogs displayed as their handlers ordered them to sit and stay and walked as far away as 50 metres while the dogs barely moved.
"I'm really excited about this," said Capt. Edwin Escobar, 549th MP Co. commander. "This is a great opportunity for all these K-9 handlers to demonstrate their capabilities and to develop friendships."

Restraining the suspect
Soldiers from the 549th MP Co. stirred the crowd by demonstrating various techniques in suspect takedown and control. K-9 Dokie leapt through a window that was more than five feet high with seemingly little effort to restrain a suspect who refused to exit his vehicle.
"It's always an honour to come out here and exchange techniques and ideas and to see how other dogs work," said Sgt. Erik Holmes, 549th MP Co., K-9 handler. "Our whole purpose is to not only bring our dogs, but all the other dogs out here to their full potential."
Italian dog handlers then demonstrated the proper way for a K-9 to subdue and control an armed suspect.
Dog handlers from the Tuzla police department showed their dog's ability to enter through an open house window in order to pursue and subdue a fleeing suspect.
"It's very important for us to see how the other nations work and to share their knowledge and expertise," said Emin Jusopovic, deputy commander and head K-9 trainer for the Tuzla police department. "What's most important for us, is widening the cooperation between us and the RS police."

Barbecue and football
The day ended with a barbecue where the international K-9 handling teams got the chance to sit and talk with each other, after which a mini-World Cup soccer tournament was held. In the end it was police officers from the RS who claimed top honours as the multi-national K-9 conference mini-World Cup soccer champions.
*U.S. Army Spec. Vincent Oliver is the assistant editor for The Talon based out of Tuzla.

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Photos: Spec. Vincent Oliver

A Republika Srpska police officer demonstrates K-9 narcotics detection during the second Multi-national K-9 Conference at the Bratunac dog-training centre. The RS was one of four law enforcement K-9 handling teams that participated in the daylong event.

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Italian MSU soldiers demonstrate the proper way to disarm and control a suspect during the Multi-national K-9 Conference held at the Bratunac dog-training centre. Four nations were represented during this second meeting of K-9 handling professionals.

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Officers from the Tuzla police department (Federation) demonstrate suspect apprehension techniques during the second Multi-national K-9 conference in Bratunac.