The first two RCMP canine teams to be taught to sniff out human remains have graduated from the force’s police dog training centre in central Alberta. RCMP working dog Genie sits beside a box to indicate that human remains are contained inside in an undated police handout image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP

Police dogs trained to detect human remains

RCMP dogs get trained in central Alberta to detect human remains

The first two RCMP canine teams to be taught to sniff out human remains have graduated from the force’s police dog training centre in central Alberta.

What makes their training even more unusual is that real human remains were used.

Mounties say they are the only Canadian police agency to do so.

Typically, animal remains or medical waste are used.

The human remains used for training at Innisfail, Alta., are provided by donors and their families through the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service.

The force says the dogs’ added skill set will help collect evidence, make progress in historical investigations and provide closure to grieving families.

“Using real human remains enables us to teach the dogs the exact odour they will be looking for. This way, they can rapidly differentiate between animal and human remains and locate human remains more effectively,” trainer Sgt. Robert Heppell said in a release Monday.

The four dog teams participating in the initial training round were from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

The dogs from B.C. and Nova Scotia have completed their training, while the others from Alberta and Manitoba are expected to finish by the end of this week.

Related: Snow falls, search continues in Silver Creek

There are 166 RCMP dog teams across Canada.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Rock the Rink gives youth once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Winning band will get to play a set at Rock the Shores

Esquimalt council green-lights first mass-timber building on Vancouver Island

Mayor appreciates 12-storey structure’s proximity to naval base, graving dock and Seaspan

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Fiery crash in Metchosin

Police still investigating the cause of the crash

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Amalgamation Yes hosting citizen’s assembly info meeting Wednesday at Vic High

Mayors of Victoria and Saanich will be on hand to give updates to residents

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read