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Dubai police officers choose Utah as training ground for dogs


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Police officers from the United Arab Emirates chose Utah as the place to train their dogs. Officers from Dubai, the country's largest city, say Utah has a great reputation for training explosive sniffing dogs.

Dubai is growing fast, and in a couple of months, it will have a metro rail line in place. Officers there figured in order to make that rail line safer, they would have to get their police dogs properly trained.

Last year, KSL did a story with Dan Huber, a K-9 trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol, and his dog Diego. The story was about how Utah was training new explosive sniffing dogs.

"It's very serious. An explosive up at the capitol could hurt a lot of people. It could do a lot of damage," said Huber.

Utah's reputation for training these types of dogs must have spread around the world fast. Abdulsalam Al-Shamsi is the K-9 training officer for the city of Dubai.

"We heard about the Utah Police Academy before we decided to come here," he said.

Al-Shamsi said when his city started building the metro rail line, his task was to make sure his police dogs got the proper training for sniffing out explosives.

Dubai police officers choose Utah as training ground for dogs

They could've gone anywhere in the world for that training but chose Utah.

Sgt. Wendell Nope, the K-9 training supervisor with the Utah Department of Public Safety, said, "I don't know how to put it into words, how important this is to us. It validates that we are on the right track."

Since Dubai was interested in explosive sniffing dogs for their new rail line, Nope set up training using FrontRunner as the base. "Their success is our success. It reflects upon us, the success they have in their system," he said.

Based on the techniques they learned in Utah, Al-Shamsi thinks the Dubai public will be safer. "They gave us everything we need for our causes. I think we have a good relationship for the future with the Utah Academy school," he said.

Those Dubai K-9 officers trained here in Utah for two weeks. Their metro rail project is set to open in September.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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Alex Cabrero

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