Five new correctional dogs join the front line at new training ‘digs’

Queensland’s elite corrections dogs and their specialist handlers will now be trained at a dedicated new purpose-built training facility in Brisbane.

Dog Squad training unit official opening and graduation

Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan officially opened the Dog Squad Training Unit at Wacol, where the first participants to use the new facility also graduated from their courses.

The Minister congratulated the five corrections officers and their canine counterparts who successfully completed the General Purpose and Passive Alert Drug Detection courses.

The Queensland Corrective Services’ dog squad is highly-skilled, ranks among the best in the world and is an integral part of keeping our correctional centres safe and secure.

General duties dogs are deployed to de-escalate emergency situations and provide the highest security and response capability in prisons, while passive alert dogs detect and prevent the entry of contraband and identify drug use.

Deputy Commissioner Organisational Capability James Koulouris said the new customised dog squad training centre was a first for Queensland Corrective Services.

“This is a standalone facility which brings training together on one site, ensuring that the agency can continue to produce detection dogs of the highest calibre,” Mr Koulouris said.

“Dog squad instructors and course participants will no longer have to travel offsite to access suitable training facilities and this saves valuable course time.”

The new building has been designed for training exercises which simulate conditions in a correctional centre and the unit’s other facilities include:

  • a fenced outside area for criminal and retrieve-type exercises,
  • a place to evaluate the suitability of dogs for courses and conduct continuation and remedial training,
  • a location for activities with other agencies such as Queensland Police Service and Border Force and
  • existing kennels.

Deputy Commissioner Koulouris said a rigorous three-month training course had prepared the graduates for any challenges they may face on the job.

“The dog squad training course is second-to-none and covers core practical competencies in obedience, agility, searching and bite work, as well as theory such as legislation, first aid, tracking and principles of dog training,” he said.

Minister Ryan and Deputy Commissioner Koulouris also presented Dog Squad Manager Alan Swann with a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for his 30 years of service with the front-line public safety agency.

The graduating dogs and their handlers will be posted to a number of correctional centres including:

  • CS Dog Jack and handler Christopher to Borallon Training and Correctional Centre,
  • CS Dog Ace and handler Nathan to Southern Queensland Correctional Centre,
  • CS Dog Bruiser and handler Scott to Wolston Correctional Centre,
  • CS Dog Luka and handler Nicole to Wolston Correctional Centre and
  • CS Dog River and handler Shaun to Maryborough Correctional Centre.

Queensland Corrective Services is actively recruiting to fill positions across the State.

To find out more about career options in some of the world’s most modern and technologically advanced prisons, visit corrections.qld.gov.au/careers

Two Labrador PADD dogs and two German Shepherd General Duties dogs with their handlers at the graduation