Media Release: Canine Operations Centre unveiled at Adelaide Airport

Release Date: Thursday, November 14 2013, 11:38 AM

The new Australian Federal Police (AFP) Canine Operations Centre at Adelaide Airport has been officially opened today in a ceremony attended by National Manager Aviation Shane Connelly.

The Adelaide facility is the third AFP Canine Operations Centre to be unveiled across Australia’s major airports, and was built as part of the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthen aviation security. It is also the first AFP and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) co-located canine facility.

The new facility features 13 overnight kennels, an agility yard, seven day runs, and a vet treatment room. It currently houses four (4) AFP canines and two (2) ACBPS canines.

Assistant Commissioner Connelly said today the canine teams are a specialist component of the AFP’s role at airports, supporting additional aviation security measures including checking facilities, aircraft, baggage and freight.

“This new purpose-built facility will provide a vital training home for our Adelaide canine team which will enable the AFP to continue to provide first-rate security at Adelaide Airport,” Assistant Commissioner Connelly said.

“This opening is part of a nation-wide roll-out of new aviation facilities which will further enhance the AFP’s current ability to provide effective security and safety for passengers and visitors to Australia’s major airports.”

The canine teams provide a highly visible deterrence capability and are skilled in undertaking combined operations.

“The safety of all passengers passing through Australia’s airports, as well as the tens of thousands of people who work at these terminals, is paramount and remains a priority of the AFP and the Government,” Assistant Commissioner Connelly said.

ABCPS Deputy Chief Executive Officer Border Enforcement, Roman Quaedvlieg, said that detector dogs play an important role in helping to protect Australia from prohibited imports such as drugs, firearms and explosives.

“Customs and Border Protection has been proudly using detector dogs for over 40 years, and the detector dog program continues to be an important part of our technology and enforcement capability into the 21st century,” Mr Quaedvlieg said.

“Our detector dog teams are highly trained and can detect goods hidden in luggage, parcels, mail, cargo, sea containers, vessels, vehicles and aircraft, and on people.”

“With their highly attuned scent detection capabilities our dogs are a complimentary asset and are used in conjunction with technology, such as x-ray and trace substance detection, which ensure the safety and security of our border.”

At present, the AFP has 47 Firearms and Explosive Detection Dog (FEDD) and 17 Currency and Drug Detection (CADD) dog teams operating across Australia's 10 major airports.

To date, new AFP Aviation facilities, including office accommodation and canine facilities, have been built at Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney. Design and/or construction is currently underway at the remaining airports.

The AFP takes a whole-of-government approach to aviation security, working closely and in collaboration with partner agencies such as ACBPS, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, state and territory police and the aviation industry. This approach delivers a comprehensive and robust aviation security framework.

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