Taiwan’s police dogs secure venues for Universiade

Police dog teams will patrol both athletes' villages and venues

Police dogs are trained to distinguish between sweaty socks and traces of explosives

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—To safeguard the athletes competing in the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade, the security division of the preparatory committee, began security patrols and checks in the athletes’ village today, with help from some special members of the police force, police dogs.

During the Universiade, both in the village and at competition venues, teams of police dogs will assist in security checks. One of their skills is the detection of explosive materials.

Speaking at the athletes’ village in Linkou, New Taipei City Police police dog team captain, Pan Tian-long (潘天龍) said there were 41 police Alsatians and Labradors, plus other dogs from the military police and some other units which would all work together on security details in both Taipei and New Taipei Cities.

He said that the National Police Administration dog teams would patrol venues in Taoyuan, Xinzhu County and Xinzhu City. Before the athletes’ village was officially opened, they took six days to complete security checks. The dogs are trained to immediately stop moving, sit down and wait for further investigation, when they find anything unusual.

Pan said that at the venues and the athletes’ villages the main security personnel were still police, and police dogs were present for assistance. In some instances, there may not be enough staff and so dogs can assist in detailed searches. Pan said the main concern was detection of explosives.

Huang Song-chen, (黃嵩琛) security director for the Universiade, said there was no intelligence to indicate any explosives or any danger to competitors and all the venues were secure. Huang said that the focus of the security mission would be the venues, athletes’ villages, media center, the surrounding areas and the opening and closing ceremonies.

Over 400 local police officers and security guards will be deployed each day depending on the needs of particular venues.

The police dog team displayed a search for the media to watch. A piece of cotton with traces of explosives was hidden in a kitchen counter unit and another under a pillow on a bed in the athletes’ village. The dogs moved in with their handlers checking the area. As soon as they caught the scent, they stopped still by the kitchen counter and bed, waiting for handlers to check.

Pan said that during the Universiade, at least one group of police dogs will be stationed in the athletes’ village. Other teams of dogs will be on standby as needed for various venues. Before athletes move into the village, the dogs will again search each floor of each building, room by room.