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Video: These are Dubai Police's female K-9 trainers.

Summary: Four Emirati women are training dogs for sniffing out explosives and narcotics.

(Supplied photo)

When it's time to handle high-risk jobs such as finding explosives and narcotics, Dubai Police turn to their four-legged officers for help, such as Yoshi. He is an eight-year-old Labrador who specialises in sniffing out explosives. Since the job is high stake, Yoshi is trained in a special way. He doesn't bark or scratch when he spots explosives, he quietly sits next to it.

Dubai police's K-9 division was established in 1976 with six dogs and six trainers. Today, it has more than 60 dogs including labradors, malinois, german shepherds and cocker spaniels, which are all imported from Europe. All the dogs have to undergo a training programme for three months.

The female K-9 trainers' team was formed in 2008 to secure special events where only women are allowed. Recently the team was deployed for security inspection, a day before the royal Al Maktoum weddings in Dubai. The unit currently has six dogs and four Emirati female trainers.

Sergeant Fatima Al Jasmi, who joined the K-9 division in 2011, specialises in training dogs for detecting explosives. She said she is thankful to the Dubai government for creating opportunities that have for many years been reserved for men.

"I joined this team because I love dogs and I want to serve my country. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has said that Emirati women don't know the word 'impossible'. This was a challenge for us and we have succeeded."

Corporal Sharifa Yousif Al Ali joined Dubai Police's K-9 unit in 2018 after graduating from Dubai Police Academy. "I train dogs for sniffing out both explosives and narcotics. My father used to work in the army and train dogs. Even after he left the army, he continued to train animals. Just like him, I am also a dog lover. I joined this team because of my love for dogs."

Constable Maha Salim Abbas joined the police force in 2017 seeing her father work for Dubai Police. She added, "My family encouraged me to join this team and they are very proud of what I do. Thankfully our government gives us the opportunity to work in any field. Emirati women are capable of greater successes and achievements in all areas."

nilanjana@khaleejtimes.com

Nilanjana Gupta As a multimedia journalist, I consider it a privilege to tell the stories of people in the UAE and allow the world to meet the people with whom their paths may never cross. I am a graduate of the Broadcast and Digital Journalism master's programme at Syracuse University in New York. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I interned with Al Jazeera English in Washington DC and worked as a senior news desk editor with CNN-IBN in Delhi.

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Article Details
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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jul 27, 2019
Words:492
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