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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LOOK BACK: A journey of time in Port Alberni

Take a peek at Port Alberni’s history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUINN’S QUIPS: I was raised a reader, and I’m passing it on

Alberni Valley News’ editor shares memories of reading to her niece

ALBERNI GOLF: Nielson leads the way in men’s golf

Sunday, Sept. 27 will be an 18-hole two-man alternate shot event

ARTS AROUND: Grandmother and grandson team up for art exhibit in Port Alberni

This will be Pam Turner’s first art show in 17 years.

Ucluelet mayor criticizes province’s lack of communication as highway closures resume

Daily closures return to only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Most Read