TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – Eight different police departments and 15 canine teams trained at the University of Alabama for three days this week on how to locate explosive devices.
UAPD Sergeant John Turner says this training is invaluable and helps prepare dog handlers and their K-9 partners for real-world experiences.
“We do a really good job of being proactive and a lot of people here see how proactive we are. Our dogs here at the University are sometimes used by other agencies,” Turner said. “We helped them search casings and firearms [and] have succeeded in doing so.
During Thursday’s protest, realistic threat devices were strategically placed in Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The canine teams were tasked with finding the threats.
Turner says the drills and practices help UAPD officers and their dogs prepare for the Alabama football season because it’s their job to make sure Bryant Denny Stadium and other venues campus sports are safe.
“Gameday is an extremely long day for us with a lot of K-9 searches, there are multiple perimeters to establish,” Turner said. “We have many safety measures in place to create a safe environment for our fans so they can better enjoy their experience.”
Agencies from the Huntsville, Birmingham, UA, Demopolis, Pelham and Tuscaloosa Police Departments participated in the training sessions this week alongside the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Mississippi Canine Team.