St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Canine (K9) Officers Cpl. Todd Fleenor and Cpl. Shawn Cathcart traveled to Montreal, Canada, during the week of May 15-19, 2016, to participate in canine officer training exercises. With their canine explosive-detection partners, “Filly” and “Jasmine”, they practiced scanning for suspected explosive devices in the airport terminals, passenger airlines, passenger baggage systems, and surrounding grounds of the Montreal International Airport. The canine teams also responded to a ‘live’ call for service and assisted in the investigation of suspicious packages in and around the airport terminal.
In addition, during Basic Patrol Canine Training, International Police Work Dog Association (I.P.W.D.A.) Master Canine Trainer Corporal Fleenor conducted evaluations of several other canine teams. Patrol Canine duties consist of building searches, tracking, area searches, evidence/article searches, aggression control, and obedience to commands. During the assessments, Cathcart assisted as a decoy for the patrol canines.
“The timing of this training could not have been more fitting,” said Captain Steven Hall, Commander, Special Operations Division. “Based on recent world events, the experience our K9 officers obtained while training in an airport environment will prove to be invaluable. I am proud of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, their dedication to duty, and the reputation of excellence they have earned both nationally and internationally.”
Along with Sheriff Tim Cameron and Captain Steven Hall, Fleenor extended his thanks and gratitude to the members of the Montreal Canadian Airport Canine Unit for their hospitality, especially Head Trainer Yanick Choquette. “This was the experience of a lifetime for Corporal Cathcart and me,” Fleenor stated. “The knowledge and expertise we gained in Canada will be applied daily while performing our K9 duties.” He added, “Thank you to the Montreal Canada Canine Unit for the invitation to participate in this valuable training and for our continued partnership. Also, thank you to Sheriff Tim Cameron for your continued support of the K9 Unit.”
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