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Indiana Sheriffs' Association To Open First In-State Training Academy For K-9s
Updated September 14, 2016 7:10 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BRAZIL) - Indiana's 92 sheriffs are joining ranks this month to open the first in-state academy dedicated exclusively to training and certifying law enforcement canines.

Part of expanded training offered by the Indiana Sheriffs' Association, the new Indiana Sheriffs' K-9 Academy will feature kennels, classrooms and tactical search facilities. Handlers and dogs from all county, city and state agencies will be welcome to enroll.

"Canines have extraordinary talents in sight, smell, agility and diligence that can be invaluable policing tools in making our communities safer," said Steve Luce, ISA executive director. "A well-trained K-9 unit can help find lost children and others who have wandered from caregivers. They can detect drugs and explosives. What's more, canines and handlers can speed searches of parcels, vehicles and buildings when every moment counts for citizen safety."

Luce said the K-9 academy will be housed at the new Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch, a privately funded project under construction to provide free leadership camps to future deputies, troopers and police officers, as well as at-risk youth, young witnesses and victims of crime.

"Part of the K-9 facility already existed as a veterinary clinic on the recently purchased Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch property, located here near Brazil, between Indianapolis and Terre Haute," said Boone County Sheriff Michael Nielsen, president of the Youth Ranch board. "The vet office was remodeled to accommodate classroom training and team teaching. A new structure was added for tactical simulations and evaluations of building and vehicle searches."

Paul Harden, who is Clay County sheriff where the Youth Ranch is located and serves on the Youth Ranch board, said wooded areas on the 62-acre property will be utilized for search-and-rescue instruction of K-9 units as well as horse patrols. Three small private lakes may also be used for training law enforcement dive teams.

"Based on best practices of all other states, Indiana's police service dogs will now be able to receive in-state patrol certifications on obedience, tracking, searches and control as well as detection certifications on narcotics and explosives," said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding, a former handler who chairs the ISA K-9 training committee.

Indiana taxpayers should save money through the K-9 Academy's lower training fees, Marion County Sheriff John Layton said. "Our law enforcement agencies will benefit from less out-of-state travel and time away from those we serve and protect," Layton added.

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