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Valstybės sienos apsaugos tarnybos kinologų-instruktorių ir pareigūnų, kuruojančių kinologinę veiklą, profesinis tobulinimas
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The need for implementation of the Project became evident a number of years ago. For many years officers of the State Border Guard Service at the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter the SBGS) supervising dog handling activities have been gaining and sharing knowledge and experience only between national experts (the SBGS and other Lithuanian law enforcement institutions) and had no possibility to get familiar with innovative dog handling practices related to the EU external border control as well as best practices of the EU Member States. The objective of the project was professional development of dog handling activities: strengthening of cooperation between border guard services in the field of dog handling at the international level, enhancing of dog handlers’ competences, improving of dog handlers’ training programs as well as skills and professional efficiency in use of service dogs in EU external border control (to prevent illegal border crossings and smuggling of excise goods, explosives, narcotic materials across the EU external border). In the framework of the project there were 7 study visits to Polish, Latvian and Estonian border guard services and their structural units. The participants of the project were divided into two groups: 1. Officers that are in charge of the development and organization of the SBGS dog handling activities (a visit of three project participants to each Polish, Latvian and Estonian border guard services – in total 9 participants); 2. Dog handling instructors that provide training to dog handlers with service dogs (two visits of two participants to each Latvian and Estonian border guard services – in total 8 participants). The first group were composed of the SBGS officers that are in charge of supervising and administering dog handling. The officers have years of experience in the management of dog handling activities and organization of dog handlers’ training courses. The officers have also accumulated a wide practical work experience in the Republic of Lithuania. One of the tasks of the aforementioned officers is further development and improvement of dog handling activities. In the framework of this project the officers would share professional experience with their colleagues in Latvia, Estonia and Poland and that would, without doubt, contribute to acquiring of necessary competences, i.e. mastering of new training methods and service dogs’ testing methodology, application of best dog handling practice in border control: preventing of illegal immigration, smuggling of explosives , weapons, narcotic materials through the external EU border (both through the “green” border and border crossing points). The second group were composed of the SBGS dog handling instructors that have long years of experience in dog handlers’ training and conducting of advanced training courses as well as have good communication skills in the English language. The dog handlings instructors improved their skills and gain new competences needed for their daily work. The acquired knowledge, in accordance with the approved training programs, will be afterwards used when conducting training sessions for both the SBGs dog handlers (in total 140 dog handlers, of these training is provided to 92 dog handlers with dogs per year) and dog handlers of other law enforcement institutions of the Republic of Lithuania (on average training is provided to 56 dog handlers with dogs per year). Persons responsible for the management of the project have maintained communication with project partners’ designated officials via telephone and/or e-mail . Participants of the project have improved their skills and professional efficiency in the fields of dog handling management and activity planning, testing of service dogs, acquire necessary competences in regard to use of service dogs at airports (for search of explosives and narcotic materials), enhance their competences in service dogs training methodology on detection of footprints, footprint tracking and detention of border violators (illegal immigrants, smugglers, etc.). Implementation of the project made a direct positive impact on the development of the SBGS dog handling activities related to border control. More efficient use dog handlers and service dogs for the EU external border control will ensure greater border security both at the national and the EU level; wider application of service dogs in performing border control functions both at the frontier zone and borders crossing points will result in bigger numbers of detected and seized excise goods, narcotic and explosive materials smuggled across the external border, apprehended illegal immigrants and persons that illegally cross the state border. Efficient control measures carried out at the EU external borders by the SBGS will contribute to the EU’s greater security as a whole.
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