QCS-trained drug detection dogs bound for duty in Fiji

Two Fiji Corrections Service officers and their dogs graduated from the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Passive Alert Drug Detection (PADD) Dog Program last week.

Acting QCS Commissioner James Koulouris congratulated the handlers and their dogs, Trooper, a Springer Spaniel, and Richie, a Labrador, on completing the rigorous course and wished them well on their return to Fiji.

“The QCS’ PADD Program is highly regarded and has been adopted by authorities in South Australia and the Northern Territory,” Commissioner Koulouris said.

“I’m pleased that we are able to work with our colleagues from Fiji Corrections Service to train these dogs for service, where they will be used to ensure the safe and secure containment of people in their care.”

FCS Deputy Commissioner of Corrections Apimelekei Taukei and Assistant Commissioner, Operations, Tuiwailevu Saladoka were present to congratulate the graduates.

The ceremony at the QCS Academy last week welcomed 16 new custodial correctional officers, 21 community corrections officers, four General Purpose Dog Squad Officers and their Correctional Service Dogs and the graduation of two PADD Officers and their Correctional Service Dogs for deployment in Queensland.

Acting Commissioner Koulouris congratulated all graduates as they commence their vital role in ensuring public safety across Queensland.

Acting Commissioner Koulouris lauded the work of all QCS officers for their hard work and commitment to keeping Queensland safe through the humane containment and rehabilitation of prisoners.

“These professional officers manage some of the most dangerous people in society in an often unrecognised field,” he said.

“There is no doubt our communities are safer because of their continued efforts to ensure public safety.

“The role of a QCS officer is a vital one, and I thank all officers for their hard work.”

Eleven of the COEP graduates will join their colleagues at Borallon Training and Correctional Centre and five will join the Escort and Security Branch.

Commissioner Koulouris congratulated the graduates on successfully completing the comprehensive entry program.

“Our highly skilled officers, including today’s graduates, undertake stringent training to ensure they are prepared to take on the challenges of working in a correctional environment every day,” Acting Commissioner Koulouris said.

“The COEP program focuses on best-practice approaches, including correctional centre practices and behaviour management, and places great emphasis on safety, situational awareness and communication, and de-escalation techniques.

“Today’s graduates come from a multitude of backgrounds, from school teacher to brick layer, but all follow a fine tradition to join the QCS ranks and boost safety across Queensland.

“It is an incredibly exciting time to be joining the QCS as we all work together to make the community safe through our five guiding principles of Corrections 2030: safety, excellence, empowerment, accountability and respect.”

QCS Deputy Commissioner Paul Stewart, Community Corrections and Specialist Operations, was also present to congratulate 21 officers who graduated from the Community Corrections Practitioner Development Program (PDP).

“Community Corrections officers act as agents of change and play a vital role in keeping communities safe by helping to prevent people completing community-based orders from re-offending.” Deputy Commissioner Stewart said.

“The PDP undertaken by the graduates builds on the skills required to perform in their role, enhancing their interviewing skills, time and personal management skills and most importantly, offender management skills.

“Throughout the intensive training, graduates covered topics, including pro-social modelling, cultural awareness, effective decision making and stakeholder engagement.

“The final phase of training is the completion of work-based assessment activities across a six-month period. Upon completion, the graduates will receive a nationally accredited Certificate IV in Correctional Practice.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all the graduates and wish them further success in their careers.”

The PDP graduating officers are based across Queensland, protecting the community in Brisbane, Ipswich, Gladstone, Cairns, Kingaroy, Mount Isa and Townsville.

For information on how to apply for a position at QCS, visit www.corrections.qld.gov.au/careers.

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