Academic journal article Forensic Science Communications

Scientific Working Group on Dogs and Orthogonal Detection Guidelines: General Guidelines for Training, Certification, Maintenance, and Documentation: Scientific Working Group on Dogs and Orthogonal Detection Guidelines (SWGDOG)

Academic journal article Forensic Science Communications

Scientific Working Group on Dogs and Orthogonal Detection Guidelines: General Guidelines for Training, Certification, Maintenance, and Documentation: Scientific Working Group on Dogs and Orthogonal Detection Guidelines (SWGDOG)

Article excerpt

Objective

This document provides guidelines for canine team certification, postcertification maintenance training, and documentation required of operational canine programs. These guidelines have been designed to create the foundation on which more targeted guidelines will be developed.

Introduction

The Scientific Working Group on Dogs and Orthogonal Detection Guidelines (SWGDOG) was formally established in January 2005 in an effort to develop consensus-based guidelines that can be shared across all groups involved in detector-dog work. SWGDOG is currently cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the FBI and is managed through Florida International University. Membership in SWGDOG includes representatives from 6 international, 10 federal, 15 state and local, and 8 private detection-dog organizations. Additional information on SWGDOG is available at http://www.fbi.gov/cgi-bin/outside.cgi? http://www.swgdog.org/.

Statement of Purpose

To provide recommended general guidelines for training, certification, and documentation pertaining to all canine disciplines. (Discipline-specific guidelines are found within the corresponding subcommittee documents.)

Initial Training

1. The canine shall be trained by a competent individual or entity through a structured curriculum with specific training and learning objectives.

2. The handler shall be trained by a competent individual or entity through a structured curriculum with specific training and learning objectives.

3. The canine/handler team's training shall be continued to achieve a level of operational proficiency until certification evaluation.

4. The training shall be structured to meet the typical mission requirements of the canine/handler team's department/organization.

Canine/Handler Team Certification

1. Certification for the named canine/handler team shall be valid for one year.

1.1. Certification does not relieve the canine/handler team from obtaining regular maintenance training and following other recommended SWGDOG guidelines.

2. The certifying officials shall not be routinely involved in the day-to-day training of the canine/handler team being tested.

3. The canine/handler team shall achieve at least 90 percent proficiency for successful certification, unless otherwise dictated by the specific discipline.

4. A mission-oriented test environment shall be used.

5. Certification shall consist of a number of assessments that together form the full test.

5.1. Each assessment is the evaluation of a search.

5.2. Aids/targets to be used in the certification process shall not have been used in the day-to-day training activities of the team being certified.

6. The certification shall include at least two of the following types of assessments:

6.1. Odor-Recognition Assessment

6.1.1. The handler shall be advised of the parameters of the search.

6.1.2. The handler shall know the number of target objects but not placement.

6.1.3. The evaluating official shall know the desired outcome of the search.

6.2. Comprehensive Assessment

6.2.1. The handler shall be advised of the parameters of the search yet shall not know the desired outcome.

6.2.2. The handler shall not know the number or placement of the target objects.

6.2.3. The evaluating official shall know the desired outcome of the search.

6.2.4. …

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