The Department of Homeland Security’s ScienceÂ and Technology Directorate is exploring ways to deploy security dogs in unconventional scenarios.
DHS S&T said Thursday it partnered with other entities to study the use of K9 teams for new applications such as path clearance and explosive detection duringÂ active shooter scenarios.
The directorate worked withÂ the Counterterrorism Advanced Training Center andÂ Battelle Memorial Institute in September to demonstrate this concept.
Experts from S&Tâs Detection Canine Program joined law enforcement practitioners to discussÂ roles and needed training for the concept’s application inÂ active shooter scenarios.
The demonstrations putÂ first responders and K9 teams inÂ simulated scenarios that featuredÂ realistic gunfire, hidden bombs, smoke and actors who played shooters andÂ injuredÂ victims.
S&T then used the gathered data to assess the teams’ performance and identify ways to integrate bomb detection personnel with firstÂ responders for such a scenario.
âBased on our first two active shooter response pilot demonstrations, itâs fair to say that explosive detection canine teams can potentially be a great asset to first responders during an active shooting scenario,âÂ said Don Roberts, who manages the S&T Detection Canine Program.
âHowever, we will need to conduct more studies and collect more data on the canine teams specifically, before we can draw any statistically significant conclusions,” he added.