By Bernice Bessey
The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has commissioned a transit accommodation facility for the Ghana Military Police Training School and National Dog Academy.
Mr Nitiwul, commissioning the facility last week at North Dzorwulu in Accra, said the academy plays a critical role in the training and deploying of dogs at security zones such as the Kotoka International Airport and Tema Port.
The Minister, giving a brief history of the Academy, indicated that the National Dog Academy, which was first commissioned in 1964 as part of tactical presidential security and handed over to the Ghana Police Service, however, due to its limited capacity, the police didn’t find the facility useful, hence discontinued the programme.
The Ghana Armed Forces, nevertheless, took over the facility in 1972, under the care of the defunct Border Guards, and four years later imported 40 all male adult German Shepherds from Germany for its operations.
Sadly, the dogs could not live to their normal age due to Ghana’s weather conditions, while the academy, on the other hand, was also operating under low capacity.
To ensure the purpose of the establishment is achieved, in 2009, there were discussions held between the National Security Secretariat, Narcotics Control Board and Office of the Provost Marshall to revamp the facility, and concluded that it was relevant for the facility to be restructured and turned into a training school.
In the area of infrastructure development, he said: “It was realised that the development of a breeding/training kennel and dormitory facility was critical to development of the vision. In 2014, the Ghana Army contracted Mayfair Estates Limited to build this edifice.”
He disclosed that there were plans to upgrade the Academy from a military company to the status of a full training school with its own command structure.
According to him, the threat of terrorism has made it imperative that nations encourage their security agencies to collaborate in different ways, in order to defeat the activities of terrorists within and across national borders.
Mr Nitiwul added that it was now so, since the employment of special dogs is needed in the fight against crime, adding, “These dogs can only be employed after they have been well trained. Dogs are intelligent and can help with the detection of any ordinance and illicit substances in real time.
“With the construction of this wonderful edifice, I know the training of dogs will be more effective.”