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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 7:28:58 AM
by shaun ho
Highly trained: A dog handler petting his dog during the graduation ceremony of the Prisons Department’s second batch of working dogs and their handlers.
KAJANG: The Prisons Department’s canine (K9) unit will be expanded to prisons nationwide.
A RM5mil allocation had been given to upgrade the unit, said Prisons Department security and intelligence director Wan Mohamad Nazarie Wan Mahmood.
“This is to build new infrastructure and to buy additional dogs, vehicles and training equipment,” he said in his speech at a graduation ceremony for the second batch of dogs and their handlers at the Kajang prison.
The department currently has one unit serving the central zone, staffed by 33 personnel with 18 dogs.
K9 unit head Asst Comm Abdul Hamid Mohammad said the first phase of the expansion would be to the northern states in the next two years.
“We plan to have units in seven zones. Five in the peninsula and one in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
Abdul Hamid, 54, has served with the department for 33 years and took up the post of unit head in 2010.
He said the dogs’ keen sense of smell helped prison guards conduct their duties more effectively.
Besides guarding and tracking, dogs are used to sniff out prohibited items such as tobacco, drugs and even mobile phones.
He also said that the dogs would be further trained to sniff out explosives and bullets.
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