CONCORD, NH – A new Canine Unit will be will be established within the Department of Corrections to assist in the Department’s efforts to combat the problem of contraband within its facilities. The Governor and Executive Council authorized at its Sept. 21 regular business meeting the expenditure of $74,440 to implement the unit.
The Department of Corrections was awarded a sub-grant from the Hampshire Department of Justice to create the NHDOC Canine Unit. The funding will allow the Department to acquire two dogs that will be trained and certified by the New Hampshire State Police for the purpose of detecting controlled drugs and cellphones.
“The trained canines will enable the search of any inmate housing area within our correctional facilities to include the mail room and the visiting room. They will also assist Probation/Parole Officers who search the residences of offenders under their supervision to detect illicit drugs,” said Commissioner William L. Wrenn.
“We take the introduction of contraband seriously and this is another step to help us address one of the biggest challenges that our facilities face every day. We are confident that this will allow us to operate a safe, secure, and humane correctional system,” Commissioner Wrenn added.
Two Correctional Investigators have been chosen to be the canine handlers and will provide these resources to all NHDOC properties. The employees and the dogs will begin the nine-week training in early October 2016.
The dogs will be selected next week. The Department is in the process of implementing new policies and procedures for the operation of the Canine Unit.