Battelle Working with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to Strengthen U.S. Network of Explosives Detection Canine Teams

Canine and explosives experts are reaching out to state and local law enforcement across the country, assisted by Battelle researchers, to better understand current capability gaps and to provide vital education, testing, and training to the nearly 4,000 canine teams working in those agencies.

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A canine and its handler at a recent session designed to increase the effectiveness of explosive det ...

A canine and its handler at a recent session designed to increase the effectiveness of explosive detecting canine teams. (Photo: Business Wire)

It’s not quite teaching old dogs new tricks, but it is acknowledgment that these hard-working and effective canine teams don’t always have easy access to the latest knowledge, tactics, and materials.

Calling it REDDI, the Regional Explosives Detection Dog Initiative, The Department of Homeland Security’s Advanced Research Project Agency dispatched its team of trainers, evaluators, and scientist early this spring, and have continued with additional sessions in Miami in June; and Long Beach, CA in July. It is all in an effort to help the canine teams realize their full potential by arming them with key information on threat materials and recent attacks, exposing them to relevant operational scenarios, and providing an opportunity for valuable odor training.

The DHS’s Explosive Detection Canine Program is working with subject matter experts from Battelle, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division.

“This is an opportunity to provide critical outreach and assistance to the law enforcement canine community,” said Don Roberts a DHS Science and Technology Program Manager. “It also provides participants, through demonstration and knowledge sharing, a venue to validate what they are doing right, and identify potential focus areas to strengthen their capabilities.”

“At Battelle, we have more than 20 years of experience in canine-focused research, development, testing, and evaluation,” said Kevin Good, Senior Research Scientist. “With our teams of engineers, chemists, biologists, explosives experts and veterinarians, we are perfectly suited to provide the insight and tools necessary to understand and advance the performance of our nation’s canine teams.”

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit