FIVE canines and their handlers graduated from the Fiji Police Academy K9 unit yesterday as the force announced its hopes to have 150 trained canines by 2017.
Speaking to handlers and their charges, Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua said the Nasese-based unit had come a long way since its beginning. He said the aim of police in the coming years was to improve the services and facilities of the K9 unit, to which he had personally contributed two of the graduating dogs.
"We will have new kennels and training facilities and in the years to come as we have developed most recently, we now have capabilities extended as far as Taveuni, Vanua Levu and the Western Division," Brig-Gen Naivalurua said. "Hopefully, in the next three to five years we will have 150 canines under our care and responsibility.
"When we have that we will have enhanced capabilities from an operation perspective and also we can securely say that we now have capabilities to look after our homes in Fiji."
Inspector in charge of the Southern/Eastern K9 unit Patrick Allen Low said the unit had 15 operational canines and 13 pups.