It is an honor to share this day with our partners from the National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) as we inaugurate the expanded canine training academy. This facility, built in cooperation with our Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement and US Southern Command’s Office of Security Cooperation represents a concrete example of the continued growth of our joint law enforcement and counter narcotics assistance programs.
This academy demonstrates the long relationship the US Embassy shares with the DNCD canine program. This relationship began with a donation of 15 trained working dogs in 1998. Since then, it has expanded to where we are today, the inauguration a canine training facility where the Dominican Republic can train its’ own dogs as well as provide training to other countries throughout the region.
A joint effort between the US Southern Command and the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement made this $1.8 million facility a reality. This facility proves that only through interagency cooperation can security forces effectively work to counter transnational organized crime.
The canines trained at this academy are an important tool in the fight against narco-traffickers that will improve overall citizen security in the Dominican Republic by enhancing security at airports, seaports and along the border. These trained canines will also serve to protect the efficient flow of trade, promote tourism and prevent narco-traffickers from exploiting the critical infrastructure of in country.
Together, we will continue our close collaboration with the Government of the Dominican Republic to combat narco-trafficking and create a more secure future for its citizens.