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

North Island College hosting nursing info session

Info sessions will take place Monday, Jan. 27 at Port Alberni and Campbell River campuses

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

B.C. government puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read