Canine law enforcement officers, and their handlers, converged on New Ellenton last week as explosive, drug and tracking dogs all had their nasal integrity on the line as they attempted to be recertified.


Handlers and canines from Richmond County, Georgia, Aiken Department of Public Safety, Aiken County Sheriff's Office and SRS security contractor WSI-SRS put together a cooperative effort to host the certification trials in Aiken County.


Thursday saw 19 explosive sniffing dogs put through their olfactory paces as they had to work inside and out, checking cars and buildings for threats.


Lt. Paul Gerstenberger, Canine Section Supervisor for WSI-SRS at the Savannah River Site said that the exercises are to put the dogs and handlers through their paces, but also with a will to aid improvement moving forward by identifying strengths and weaknesses.


Friday was the turn of the tracking dogs -- such as the Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team -- and then Saturday the narcotics dogs had their turn.