COLUMBIA — A specialized program, offered by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, is working with local and state law enforcement agencies in South Carolina to enhance their bomb dog teams. The South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services (BPS) and the University of South Carolina Police Department are co-hosting the Regional Explosives Detection Dog Initiative (REDDI) event on July 14 – 15, 2021. This is the 24th event held nationwide since 2017, all made possible free of charge to K-9 units that would like to participate.
“We know that canines are an effective resource, but many of our nation’s explosives detection canine teams have limited access to the latest knowledge and training on explosive threat odors. That’s why this program was created, and we’re so excited to bring this cutting-edge training to South Carolina,” says Detection Canine Program Manager Guy Hartsough.
Starting today, 21 K-9 handlers, representing 14 law enforcement agencies across the state, will report to the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium for the two-day training opportunity. The event includes a combination of classroom instruction and exercises in areas such as:
- Odor recognition trials;
- Reality-based operational search scenarios;
- Odor exercises/demonstrations;
- Improvised Explosive Device (IED) overview;
- Explosives and training aid basics;
- Lessons learned and results sharing.
“We are very excited to help bring this cutting edge training to our law enforcement partners across the state,” said Bureau of Protective Services Chief Matthew Calhoun. “We know that being better prepared for every scenario is critical to all of our missions of keeping the public safe.”
Funding is made available from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). S&T works with several subject matter experts to design and plan the REDDI events. This includes Battelle Memorial Institute and NSWC Indian Head.
Media will be granted access to video and interviews on Thursday, July 15, 2021, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Those wishing to participate will need to report to Williams-Brice Stadium (1125 George Rogers Boulevard) and enter off of Key Road. Activities will be scheduled near Gate 68.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.