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Education and training 11 November 2021

Today, 15 May 2009, the department for training service dogs at the Police Academy marked 60 years of training of police service dogs. On this occasion, new premises of the Service Dogs Training Division (SDTD) and the Police Station of Service Dogs Handlers (PS SDH) Ljubljana, were ceremonially opened.

The ceremonial speech was held by Janko Goršek, Acting Director General of the Police. He emphasised in his speech that "anniversaries never happen of their own accord. They are always the results of hard work." Therefore, on this occasion he thanked in the name of the whole police force to all those who "with their efforts and patience, and not seldom also with blisters, have significantly contributed to the development of this field, and thus left their indelible mark on the success of the whole Slovenian police force". He said that "due to intensive technological development, the use of service animals in the police seems to many rather unusual. But the fact is that without the help of four-legged friends we would be sometimes quite 'barefoot'".

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The ceremonial speaker was Janko Goršek, Acting Director General of the Police


"The relationship between man and animal is something most beautiful that we can experience. It is open, direct and genuine. It has all the properties we aspire to in our interpersonal relationships, but above all, it has power always to awaken in us only the best", said Mr. Goršek in his speech.

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Director of Police Academy, Franc Kosmač said in his address that the ''use of service dogs in the field increases all the time and attains very good results. The credit for this goes to the pioneers who more than sixty years ago realised that dogs can be useful in police work, as well as to the present 'team' of the school which has attained outstanding progress and development in the last years."

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Director of the Ljubljana Police Directorate, Stanislav Vrečar emphasised that ''service dog handlers are not only indispensable in regular tasks, routine interventions, searching for missing persons, seizing illegal drugs, searching for explosives etc., but are also a reliable, pleasant and homogeneous collective.''

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Head of the SDTD Marko Medvešek emphasised that ''quality and professional work of every individual who was engaged in the kynological field in any way whatsoever has contributed to enabling us today to carry out this noble job in one of the most modern schools in Europe.''

Police commemorative badges '60 years of police service dog training'

At the high anniversary, 118 police commemorative badges '60 years of police service dog training' will be awarded.

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Among the receivers of the commemorative badge were also long-standing collaborators of the school. In the photo: Albert Čok

Opening of the new premises at Gmajnice

On 17 April 2008, the Department for service dog training and the Ljubljana police station of service dog handlers moved into new, better and larger premises at Gmajnice in Ljubljana, which solved long-standing problems encountered by both the instructors and handlers and by service dogs themselves.

In the new premises they have prepared an exhibition of posters showing the rich history of police dog training.

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Opening of the premises with ribbon cutting

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The new premises ensure better conditions for work and life of dogs, but they are also a good starting point for attaining the best possible results. In his address, the commander of the Ljubljana PS PDH, Franc Novak, recalled the poor working conditions of the previous premises "in which, despite all, the service dog handlers carried out their work successfully."

Practical demonstration of the work of service dog handlers

The ceremony was followed by a practical demonstration of the work of service dog handlers

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On the new polygon of the Department for service dog training, which measures 7000 sqm, the dog handlers and their four-legged friends demonstrated some interesting exercises and thrilled the audience. The quintet of the Police Orchestra and Slovenian theatre actor Roman Končar enriched the event with a cultural programme.

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Use of service dogs in the Slovenian police

In the Slovenian police we distinguish between service dogs for general tasks and service dogs for special tasks. The tasks of handlers of service dogs for general tasks are the provision of protection to persons and property, establishing and maintaining public order and peace, searching for missing persons, tracking and detecting perpetrators of minor offences and criminal offences and protection of state borders.

Service dogs for special tasks are trained either for detecting illegal drugs or for detecting explosives. The difference between them lies in the way they indicate the item found. While service dogs for detecting illegal drugs actively point to their find by barking and scratching, the dogs for detecting explosives must indicate an explosive device in a passive manner in order not to activate it.

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Today, the Slovenian police has 103 service dog handlers and 115 service dogs. In the Service dog training division, 13 instructors are employed.

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