On Tuesday, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted National Odor Recognition Testing (NORT) and certification for K9 teams in New England. Massachusetts State, Boston, UMass, Transit and other Police Departments teamed up with Cody Monday, ATF’s lead instructor, and various other agencies including the Everett Police Department, the U.S. National Park Service, and the Melrose Police Department who hosted the event to train and certify their K-9s.
NORT is a voluntary test to evaluate a canine team’s ability to detect 10 fundamental explosive odors. Congress recognizes the test as the benchmark proficiency standard for effective canine explosives detection. It is used to identify training gaps in K9s, find any training aid contamination, and improve odor detection. NORT training is a way for handlers to learn about best practices and work alongside other colleagues and their canines. They can ask the experts any questions they have in relation to explosives training and better understand their canine.
ATF’s Canine Division is the primary resource for this type of training, and once complete, the teams are assigned to law enforcement agencies across not only the region and state but the country and the globe. At Tuesday’s event, specifically, canines were being tested to see how well they can detect explosive odors. Participants were able to learn new techniques from the nation’s best teams and experts in the field.
The National Canine Division at ATF was instituted in 1996 to support a variety of high-risk law enforcement operations, including bomb, arson, explosives and gun investigations as well as the more traditional protective search and sweep responsibilities. ATF K9 trainers and ATF chemists from the ATF National K9 Division in Virginia administered the tests in Melrose on Tuesday.