November 30, 2011
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|Top Award Winners are (top left) IG Inspector Cora Romer and her dog Annie, who came in first place, and IG Inspector Chris Mears and his dog Harley, who placed second among 120 competitors.|
For the fifth year in a row, the Florida Department of Corrections’ Drug Interdiction Teams took top honors in the nationally recognized Southern Coast K-9 Bomb and Drug Detection competition. This year 120 teams from throughout the United States and the Cayman Islands competed in Daytona Beach for the top dog (team) honors.
“Their consistent top ranking is a good indication of the pride and commitment our K-9 teams across the state have in the job they do every day keeping our prisons safe and drug-free,” said Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker.
The competition pits canine teams from sheriff’s offices, police departments, private contractors such as GEO and other corrections departments against each other at various sites throughout the host city to see which dogs and handlers can find hidden drugs most efficiently. Each team visits every site where the contraband is hidden, which this year included an airport, hospital, auto auction and police department in the Daytona Beach area. All handlers and dogs were graded at each site by trained instructors, and the scores averaged.
Top drug detection honors this year went to K-9 Inspector Cora Romer and her dog Annie, who took first place, and K-9 Inspector Chris Mears and his dog Harley, who took second place, and whose closest competition were some of our other officers.
“I am very proud of our Inspectors and canines performance in Daytona. It was exciting to watch some of the competition and see the Department represented in such a positive and professional way. I look forward to our handlers and K-9s defending their titles in next year’s competition,” said the Department’s Inspector General Jeff Beasley.
All 20 of the Department’s Drug Interdiction Teams, which work under the Inspector General’s Office, were also recertified during this competition and seminar, which is required annually. Certification is awarded by the American Canine Detection Association.
Since the fiscal year began on July 1, 2011, 27 individuals including visitors and inmates have been arrested as a result of the Department’s Contraband Interdiction Unit’s searches. Contraband recovered during this time frame includes: