Multiple units of the Yukon RCMP participated in a training exercise organized in downtown Whitehorse on Jan. 11.
Dozens of police officers from the Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Police Dog Service (PDS) participated in the exercise which involved the tracking of a supposed “fugitive,” who was actually a police officer in plain clothes, through an urban environment, the RCMP said in a statement.
The RCMP said members of the ERT and PDS involved in the tracking wore their standard uniforms.
“This particular training exercise involved tracking a supposed high-risk fugitive in an urban environment,” said Staff Sergeant Kent Langley of the Yukon RCMP. Langley said the same basic techniques used in tracking a fugitive are also deployed in locating lost persons or missing children.
Police said the training is part of year-round routine exercises conducted in a number of real-life, local environments to ensure that officers are prepared to respond to different types of security emergencies.
The Yukon ERT team trains on a monthly basis while the PDS trains continuously for effective communication between the dog and its handler, the statement added. Duke, the police dog which has been with the RCMP since 2019, remained leashed and under control of the handler during the exercise.
In an email to the News on Jan. 19, the RCMP says regular training in realistic environments is important for officers to learn and maintain skills.
“These training exercises must be practised regularly to maintain the high skillsets required by participating units, including the police dog,” Langley said.
To assuage fears and concerns among members of the public who witnessed the exercise, officers explained the training to bystanders.
The RCMP said precautionary measures were taken into consideration during the exercise as no long guns were used and service weapons remained holstered.
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