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Posted on: October 8, 2020

Kalispell K9 Team's Annual Certification Process

Officer Parce & K9 Cairo pose in front of their Police vehicle

Officer Parce and K9 Cairo recently completed their annual certification in narcotics detection through the Pacific Northwest Detector Dog Association (PNWK9). The PNWK9 is comprised of Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and British Columbia. Cairo and Parce certified through a  process known as randomized double blind testing. This type of test brings the highest level of scientific standards to certification of narcotics detection teams, and ensures the teams accuracy and reliability by removing conscious and unconscious cues that handlers impart upon their dogs during searches. Commonly known as handler bias, a K9 handler's subtle body language, emotions, and facial expressions can influence their dogs behavior during a search, as dogs are very conscious of their handlers. Handler bias can determine the dogs behavior during a K9 sniff, regardless of the presence of illegal narcotics odor. To maintain a high level of reliability, Cairo and Parce utilize a third party organization for training and certification.  Because PNWK9 does not have a vested interest in performance during testing, the legitimacy of the certification is enhanced. By utilizing a third party organization and the double blind certification standard, the Kalispell Police Department K9 Team strives to maintain the highest level of accuracy, proficiency, and reliability in their work.

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