To the dog, it’s just one big game. Find the target odor and receive the reward. To us, it’s the satisfaction of knowing we are safe because highly-trained explosives detection dogs are at work with their handlers. Canines are widely recognized as one of the best, most versatile mobile explosive detection assets available for protecting the homeland from explosive threats, and the use of explosives detection canines is expanding. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Detection Canine Program established the Regional Explosives Detection Dog Initiative (REDDI) to help provide state and local law enforcement canine handlers and trainers with the tools, techniques and knowledge to better understand, train and deploy detection canines.
Since then, S&T’s team of experts has traveled all over the nation to bring REDDI to state and local law enforcement agencies. REDDI is a two-day event that includes odor recognition trials and operationally relevant scenarios. Realistic threat devices are strategically placed throughout a venue such as a sports stadium that is provided by the hosting law enforcement agency to ensure assessment is in the canine team’s working environment. The canine teams are then tasked with the job of finding the threats.