News: Meet Federal Agent Mick Simmons and canine partner Marty
Release Date: Friday, October 29 2010, 03:39 PM
Federal Agent Mick Simmons and his canine partner Marty began the 11 week AFP National Canine recruit course in early October, 2010.
Now in week four, Mick and Marty are working hard to prepare for their first assessment in week five.
Federal Agent Simmons said it has been his ambition for a number of years to become a canine handler.
"You see the handlers walk in and out of the station or on jobs and it's the sort of job you aspire to one day do," he said.
National canine handlers are required to pass the same fitness standards as other specialist policing roles. Each day begins with a two-and-a-half kilometre run, followed by theory and practical sessions.
Trainee handlers are expected to develop a strong understanding of canine behaviour and the needs of their dog, and also spend much of their day engaged in simulated firearm and explosive detection exercises.
Funding for the AFP's Firearms and Explosive Detection Dog capability was increased by $17.8 million in the last federal budget to boost canine screening capabilities at Australia's major airports. An additional 17 Firearms and Explosive Detection Dog Teams will be operational by mid next year as part of the initiative.
You can follow Mick and Marty on their journey as they train to join the ranks of the National AFP Canine Unit.