• CPS - ExplosiveDogTeam_150

    Uncle Sam’s Secret Weapon Has Four Legs and a Cold Nose 

    Explosive Detector Dog (EDD) teams, hardworking members of the Federal Protective Service (FPS), have proven to be one of the most reliable, affordable method for detecting explosives and other contraband at federal government locations. Just the appearance of an EDD team can present a visible deterrent to potential criminals or terrorists.

    Using a system of “find-and-reward,” detector dogs are trained to use their keen sense of smell to quickly identify (or rule out) the presence of a host of dangerous materials. Thanks to the sniffing power of their cold, wet noses, the business of our federal government can continue with little or no interruption, even in serious situations.

    Each EDD team includes a detector dog and a handler. Together, they monitor every inch of federal building exteriors, parking lots, office areas, vehicles, and more, looking for suspicious anomalies. Recent advances in technology allow teams to detect explosives inside moving targets such as carry-on luggage and backpacks.   

    It takes a lot of time and effort to become a certified EDD team. Handlers and canines are paired early in the dog’s training process; together they must complete a rigorous 10-week training course at the Basic FPS Canine Academy.  

    Since the program’s founding in Washington, D.C. 15 years ago, the EDD workforce has grown from 12 D.C.-based teams to more than 70 teams across the country.

    Students pursuing public safety degrees, criminal justice degrees, homeland security degrees or anyone interested in learning more about these highly skilled and trained dogs and the Federal Protection Service, including the EDD program, may visit Federal Protective Service or drop an email to FPSInfo@dhs.gov.

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