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ATF Explosives Detection Canine Handler Course Achieves Accreditation

For Immediate Release

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA) Board ispleased to announce it granted accreditation status to the Bureau ofAlcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Explosives DetectionCanine Handler Course (EDCH) at the April 7, 2011 meeting inCharleston, South Carolina. 


The EDCH Course has been in existence since the 1990s as a spin-offprogram from the successful Canine Accelerant Detection Program. During the training, canine handlers (students) are provided an ATFexplosives detection canine that is in its seventh week of explosivesodor imprinting and training.  Together, both the student and thecanine complete their training during the rest of the program.  Tocomplete the course, students must pass both written and practicalexaminations.  The assigned canines must pass a certification testconducted by a chemist from the ATF National Laboratory wherein thecanine must successfully detect 20 different explosives odors, two ofwhich they were never exposed to during training.


Mr. Thomas Murray, Deputy Division Chief, National Center forExplosives Training and Research, accepted the certificate awardingaccreditation of the EDCH Course, saying how proud they were of thisbeing ATF’s first accredited program. He mentioned how this program and the hard work of the staff have saved lives, and thanked the Board andassessment team. Mr. Mark Logan, retired ATF Assistant Director ofTraining and Professional Development, thanked the Board and thankedthe people involved for their hard work. He noted canines trained inthe ATF course had identified explosives in Afghanistan andMexico. 


To achieve accreditation, an agency must undergo a voluntarythorough assessment of their academy and/or program to ensurecompliance with the FLETA standards.  These professional standardswere developed to increase agency effectiveness and efficiency. The standards address Program Administration, Training Staff, TrainingDevelopment, and Training Delivery, with an additional 20 standardsspecifically for Academies.  To maintain accredited status,agencies are required to submit annual reports to the FLETA Board andparticipate in a reaccreditation process every three years. 


The FLETA Board is nationally recognized by federal law enforcementagencies, as well as stakeholders in law enforcement training.  Itis the Board’s goal to improve the federal law enforcement communitywith each accreditation, and the Board has now awarded 48 programaccreditations and 13 academy accreditations. 


If you would like more information regarding the FLETA process,please visit the website at www.FLETA.govor contact FLETA at 912-261-3684.