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Thursday, 28 November, 2019

Two Fiji Corrections officers and their dogs on Wednesday, 27 November, 2019 graduated from the Queensland Corrective Services Passive Alert Drug Detection (PADD) Dog Program.

A media report released yesterday by QCS said Acting QCS Commissioner James Koulouris congratulated Principal Corrections Officer Dog Handler Samuel Netzler and Trooper, a springer spaniel, and Corrections Officer Class B Nikolau Luveicei and Richie, a labrador, on completing the rigorous course and wished them well on their return to Fiji.

“The QCS PADD Program is highly regarded and has been adopted by authorities in South Australia and the Northern Territory,” Commissioner Koulouris said.

“I’m pleased that our expertise will now be exported to Fiji, where it will be used to ensure the safe and secure containment of people in the care of Fiji Corrections.”

The duo graduated alongside 16 new custodial correctional officers and also with four General Purpose Dog Squad Officers and their Correctional Service Dogs for deployment in Queensland.

Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service Commander Francis Kean thanked Commissioner James Koulouris for the opportunities to further enhance the capability at FCS K9 Unit.

Commander Kean stated, the K9 Unit is a key element of our security posture at Corrections.

“This support from QCS is immeasurable. We thank the QCS for this partnership in our capability development.”

Commander Kean congratulated the two FCS personnel for successfully completing the 3-month rigorous training and is grateful that the two K-9s, Springer Spaniel Trooper and Labrador Ritchie will be returning to Fiji with their handlers.

PCO Netzler said the 12-week course was challenging and was a big learning curve for both of them.

“This has been the greatest opportunity for us, and we go back home with improved knowledge on dog handling skills. We look forward to sharing this new skills sets with our counter parts back home.

 “We were taken through a mid and end of course assessment where dog and handler were tested theoretically and physically through operational searches. We came out with flying colours.

Also in attendance at the graduation was Deputy Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Apimeleki Taukei and Assistant Commissioner Operations, Senior Superintendent Tui Saladoka

Commissioner Koulouris said the program also focused on best-practice approaches, including correctional centre practices and behaviour management, and placed great emphasis on safety, situational awareness and communication, and de-escalation techniques.

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