To counter the presence of illicit fentanyl in Canada and to keep Canadians safe, the RCMP is currently training its Police Service Dogs to detect fentanyl.
The training is paying off. One of the three RCMP dog teams presently trained to detect fentanyl has already intercepted 12,000 tablets in B.C. "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," says Inspector Akrum Ghadban, Officer in Charge of the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre (PDSTC) in Innisfail, Alberta.
The RCMP leads the way in dog training to detect fentanyl. "Our specialists have transformed pure fentanyl into a diluted liquid form, enabling our dogs to train with the real smell of fentanyl with no risk of inhaling it. It is particularly efficient, making the dogs in the field extremely productive," says Staff Sergeant Eric Stebenne, Senior Trainer at the RCMP PDSTC.
The training of all 139 RCMP narcotics profile dog teams across Canada is expected to be completed by mid-July 2017.
Fentanyl is an opioid about 100 times more toxic than morphine which can cause serious harm, including death. It has been used in tablets made to look like prescription drugs.