Local training range now site for statewide Explosives K-9 training

CSRA News

The state of Georgia’s headquarters for Explosives K-9 training is now in our backyard. On Monday, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office announced a partnership with state and federal agencies to train bomb sniffing dogs. The dogs will play an important role in the country’s largest sporting event.

If you take Deans Bridge Road into Blythe, you will find the training range for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. There is a lot of wide open space out there for a variety of drills. Now, the site is the primary training facility for Explosive K-9s for the entire state of Georgia.

Some of the most important defense in next year’s Super Bowl will be provided by the dogs trained right here in the CSRA.

On Monday, NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne got to see one of the K-9s in action. The Belgian Malamute named Tiago chased down aids planted by his handler that are meant to mimic explosives. Dogs like Tiago defend the safety of football fans before and during each Super Bowl. The big game will be in Atlanta in 2019 and Richmond County’s training site will be the main place of preparation for the bomb sniffing dogs headed to Mercedes Benz Stadium.

“They will be coming in and out of here at some point in time and we will be sending our Explosive K-9s to Atlanta,” says Captain Allan Rollins who is one of the lead supervisors out at the training range.

Captain Rollins says they are already preparing for Super Bowl LIII. “That place is huge! [You] can’t take 3 dogs and search and entire stadium so everybody will be going,” says Captain Rollins.

Their plan is to turn their range into a regional hub now that they have landed a statewide program.

“We will be bringing K-9’s from all over the state and we will be doing the explosives training,” Captain Rollins explains.

The courses include lessons in explosive detection, evidence recovery and post-blast exercises. One aspect of the drills includes getting the dogs accustomed to being around people.

Captain Rollins said a lot of factors went into the decision to have RCSO host this program.

“We have a very good facility here,” he says. “We do a lot of regional K-9 training. We are enthusiastic about getting it done and we will do what it takes to get all the training here.”

The goal is to make sure Georgia is equipped with fully trained and capable Explosives K-9s. RCSO is partnering with Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security to insure statewide access to these highly trained dogs.

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