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Narcotic Standards

CNCA Certification Standards

NARCOTIC CERTIFICATION – New Standards as of 01/01/2014

I. Certification of Narcotic Dogs and Handlers

A. Certification of narcotic dog teams shall be limited to current law enforcement personnel or law enforcement related personnel.

B. Certifications will be valid for one year from the date of certification.

II Qualified Certification Officials

A. CNCA Executive Board will designate certification officials.

B. Each certification official will have a minimum of five years experience training detection dogs, to include a minimum of 2 years of narcotic dog training.

C. Certification officials will designate the areas to be tested and will coordinate with the host agency to obtain these areas.

D. The certification official will be responsible for coordinating with the host agency to obtain narcotic training aids to be used in the test procedure.

E. The certification official will be responsible for ensuring all safety precautions are adhered to.

F. Certification official will evaluate the following areas during the examination.

1. Does the canine recognize the odor of the narcotic.

2. Does the canine alert to the odor of the narcotic.

3. Does the Handler recognize the canine’s alert.

G. At anytime, the certification official can terminate the search for cause.

H. Once deployed, search time for each area will not exceed seven minutes for each search.

III. Narcotic Canine Testing Area

A. The tests will be set in as practical a manner as possible using “live” buildings, areas, etc.

B. The tests should include:

1. Building Search

a. Buildings, warehouses, residence or any other structure utilized as a certification site shall be no less than 1000 square feet per individual search area and shall have furniture or other articles present in the search area.

2. Vehicle Search

b. The word “vehicles’ as used for the purpose of certification shall include any passenger car, truck or van. During the vehicle search, at least three vehicles must be present.

C. Certifying officials at their discretion may substitute area, parcel and luggage searches when the required areas are unavailable.

IV. Narcotic Substances

A. All aids used in testing should be stored in separate containers.

B. The certification will contain the following narcotic odors:

1. Heroin – Black tar or Powder

2. Cocaine – Powder or rock

3. Methamphetamine – powder or ice

4. Marijuana

5. Opium – OPTIONAL

C. The maximum weight of the narcotics shall be unlimited, however a minimum of 20 GRAMS of substance shall be used for each find for certification.

D. All narcotic finds shall be placed in search areas for at least thirty minutes prior to the first search team starting certification.

E. No narcotic find shall be placed at an elevation higher than six feet unless it can be accessed by the canine.

F. A verification of narcotic odor will be conducted prior to deployment of first search team.

G. There will a total of 4 search areas in addition to the vehicles. There will be a minimum of three vehicles.

H. Each search area will have 0 to 2 finds with one area being blank.

I. All the listed substances will be included in the certification in any combination designated by the certifying official.

V. Certification Standards

A. The dog shall be able to locate/indicate all of the stashes of narcotic substances hidden in each location.

B.  In jurisdictions, where marijuana is declared by law or policy not to be enforceable, then it is not a requirement for the canine team to be certified on marijuana.

Prior to initiating the narcotic certification test, the handler must verbally declare to the Certifying Official that he/she is OPTING OUT of finding marijuana and will only be certifying on the remaining substances.

C.  The dog shall be able to locate/indicate all of the previously declared controlled substances which the K9 team is attempting to locate/indicate in the test area.

VI Alerts

A. It shall be the responsibility of each handler to advise the certifying official as to the type of alert/indication his canine will give.

B. To cause an official to score a positive find for the detection team, the handler must verbally state, “alert” to the certifying official for the alert/indication to be recorded, and identify the location of the alert.

VII False Alerts

A. Any False Alerts called by a handler will result in certification failure.

VIII Certification Failure

A. A detection team who fails to locate/indicate on one aid during the certification may be tested again the same day, if the certification official rules that the miss is the handlers error and requires no additional training of the canine.

B. All other certification failures require the team reschedule another certification on a later date.

C. All decisions made by certification officials are final.

Revised 02-04-16