Federal Protective Service (FPS) Explosive Detector Dog (EDD) teams provide a strong visible and psychological deterrent against criminal and terrorist threats. EDD teams are the most effective countermeasure available today for detection of explosives. The EDD teams, each comprised of a dog and a law enforcement handler, conduct searches for a variety of explosive materials near building exteriors, parking lots, office areas, vehicles, packages, and people in and around federal facilities.
Strategic and Preventive Tactics
EDD teams play a critical role in FPS’ comprehensive preventive security measures by supporting strategic explosive detection activities . They also provide immediate and specialized response to bomb threats and unattended packages or other such dangerous items. Most often, these detection activities allow the EDD teams to detect or quickly rule out the presence of dangerous materials and allow the business of the government to continue with minimal or no interruption.
FPS has recently initiated a Personnel Screening Detection (PSD) program. PSD canines are specially trained to detect explosives carried by people or in moving containers, such as luggage or backpacks.
History and Training
Since the program first started in Washington, DC in 1998, it has grown from 12 teams to a fully operational, national program of more than 70 authorized teams.
EDD responsibilities require the highest levels of expertise and professionalism and, as such, the selected handlers and canines are matched early in the training process and are required to complete a 10-week training course at the Basic FPS Canine Academy. After successful completion of the training program, the handlers and their canine partners graduate from the course as a certified EDD team and are strategically deployed across the nation based on the current threats and risk analysis.
In addition to the training they receive at the FPS Canine Academy, the FPS EDD teams are required to maintain proficiency throughout the year and recertify annually. The EDD teams participate in numerous training exercises throughout the year with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.