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
*U.S. Army Spec. Vincent Oliver is the assistant editor for
The Talon based out of Tuzla.
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