TRAINING DAY - From right

Video: RCMP dogs currently being trained to detect fentanyl

At demonstration near Red Deer, officials said dogs have already intercepted 12,000 tablets in B.C.

  • Feb. 3, 2017 10:54 p.m.

RCMP across Canada will soon have a new tool in their belts in the fight against fentanyl.

In order to counter the presence of the dangerous opioid, the RCMP is currently training its Police Service Dogs to detect fentanyl.

“If you see the news, you’ll see every day there’s people dying from fentanyl and we took a proactive approach here. Our dogs were searching and they were coming across fentanyl and not recognizing it,” said Insp. Akrum Ghadban, the officer in charge of the RCMP’s Police Dog Service during a demonstration at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre in Innisfail. “I do believe the Canadian population is safer because of our new fentanyl dog training. By keeping more fentanyl off the street, we save Canadian lives.”

Fentanyl is an opioid about 100 times more toxic than morphine which can cause serious harm or even death. According to Alberta Health Services’ web site, 193 fentanyl-related overdose deaths were reported in the province between January and September 2016.

Ghadban said the new training will allow police dogs to detect the substance quickly, which in turn will keep the dog, the handler and the public safe.

“Essentially we’re saving lives with this,” he said, noting that before receiving the training, dogs would continue to sniff and inhale the substance, putting them at risk.

In order to train their dogs to recognize the new scent, RCMP are using a diluted liquid form of fentanyl, allowing the dogs to train with the real smell of the drug without any risk of actually inhaling the substance.

“The beauty of our training is there’s enough concentration in what we’re giving them in the training environment – they’ll be able to hit on it in the real world. So they won’t have to get anywhere as close as they are here before they detect the fentanyl,” Ghadban explained.

According to a press release from the RCMP, one of the three dog teams presently trained to detect fentanyl has already intercepted 12,000 tablets in B.C.

The training of all 139 RCMP narcotics-profile dogs and their handlers across Canada is expected to be completed by mid-July.

Just Posted

Ivan Hlinka Tournament renamed Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Red Deer’s Servus Arena to host games in international tournament

RDC to host 2019 CCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships

The building of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre was key to RDC’s bid to the CCAA.

WATCH: Mustard Seed gets support again from PCN Women’s Fun Run

Run raised just over $20,000 last year for The Mustard Seed

Red Deer RCMP make several arrests this month

Recent arrests include the seizure of various drugs and weapons

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read