Because of the
events surrounding September 11, 2001 and
its aftermath, law enforcement agencies'
need for dogs has increased. Our organization
is honored to have been selected to help
meet these needs.
September 11th, a number of individuals
and companies have gone into the business
of training explosive detection dogs, but
they have done so with very little knowledge
of how to accurately train such dogs and
with little regard for the quality of life
the dogs have. As a result, dogs that are
improperly trained, worked too hard and
with too many different handlers, or are
"cross-trained" (trained to sniff
both bombs and drugs, for example) are making
their way into public life. It is probably
just a matter of time before one of these
dogs misses a bomb or makes a wrong decision
which could have serious consequences. By
comparison, PBB is honored to work with
the NYPD Bomb Squad and other law enforcement
agencies because we have visited their training
headquarters, we have seen the love between
handlers and their dogs, we have seen the
conditions under which the dogs live while
they are being trained and we know that
the dogs, once trained, do not live in kennels
but live at home with their trainers.
Two bomb technicians from the NYPD Bomb Squad visited the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women to meet and thank the women for the work they are doing. One of the bomb sniffing dogs currently in the NYPD Bomb Squad, "Sheeba," was raised at the Edna Mahan facility and came back with her handler, Police Officer Paul Perricone, as a graduate of the NYPD's program. It was wonderful to have Officer Perricone come back and thank the inmate who raised his dog, for at that moment, it wasn't a police officer talking to an inmate; it was a bomb technician who spends his days making New York City safe for private citizens — and who depends on his dog to make the right decisions — speaking with the young woman who raised this incredible dog. All labels and barriers were nonexistent as two people discussed the pride and joy who sat between them, eagerly wagging her tail and looking up at people she loved.
In addition, an explosive detection canine handler works as an instructor for Puppies Behind Bars. Through weekly classes
with PBB instructors, inmates learn first-hand
the proper techniques involved in training
impeccable bomb sniffing dogs as well as
the significance of their work. Puppies
Behind Bars gives inmates the opportunity
to contribute to society rather than take
from it, and lets law enforcement see that
inmates are capable of doing something positive
for the community.