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Standards and Guidelines - Forensic Science Communications - October 2008

Standards and Guidelines - Forensic Science Communications - October 2008

Appendix 3

Example of Statement of Work for Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Requirement for Canines

1. General

On March 1, 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed. This resulted in the merger of the U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Border Patrol into a new agency known as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP currently maintains two separate canine training facilities to meet its needs—(1) the Canine Enforcement Training Center (CETC), Front Royal, Virginia; and (2) the National Canine Facility (NCF), El Paso, Texas. Both facilities are located within CBP’s Office of Training and Development (OTD).

As their core mission, CBP officers use specially trained detector dogs to combat terrorism and interdict narcotics and other contraband while helping to facilitate and process legitimate trade and travel within the core processes of CBP. Occasionally, these canines need to be replaced because of injury, disease, age, or death. Therefore, CBP has a requirement for canines for a base period plus four option years. This contract will also be available for use by other activities within DHS that acquire canines. The successful contractor(s) shall supply canines in accordance with the specific requirements set forth in this document.

2. Requirements

Canines shall meet the following requirements.

Breed—The canine shall be a recognized working or sporting breed, such as the following: Labrador retriever, golden retriever, German shepherd, Dutch shepherd or Belgian Malinois. The exact breed required will be specified in the orders issued under the contract.

Lineage—The canine shall be European born or of European lineage traceable by two generations. Proof of lineage shall be provided with each delivery. The absence of proper documentation will be grounds for rejecting a canine. American-bred canines may be accepted on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Government.

Age—The canine shall have a documented age between twelve (12) and thirty-eight (38) months.

Weight—The canine shall weigh no less than forty-five (45) pounds and not more than ninety (90) pounds.

Size—The canine shall measure no less than twenty-two (22) inches and not more than thirty (30) inches at the shoulder.

Sex—The canine may be either male or female.

The canine shall be delivered with a collar around its neck.

3. Selection Criteria

CBP OTD personnel, either at the NCF in El Paso, Texas, or CETC in Front Royal, Virginia, will administer a series of tests on the canine to determine whether it has the capability of working for CBP. The canine is required to pass these tests in order to be accepted into the canine training program. The CETC/NCF representative will make the determination as to the acceptability/unacceptability of a canine for the CBP Canine Program.

3.1. Selection Criteria for the CETC Canines

Canines acquired by the CETC will be tested in Front Royal, Virginia, and must successfully pass the following tests:

a. The canine must possess a sound temperament and demonstrate a bold and confident attitude. There should be no signs of either shyness or aggressiveness in any manner.

b. The canine should be willing to work in confined areas, willing to go onto elevated objects, and have no fear of being on any object that moves.

c. The canine will have to demonstrate a strong, frantic desire to retrieve and possess a thrown object in the following areas:

1. Open area.
2. Under vehicle.
3. Under objects (e.g., milk crate, laundry basket, or rubber mat).
4. Hunt test (i.e., will search for object when it is out of sight).
5. Slick floor.
6. Luggage belt.

Temperament testing also includes:

a. Crowd of people (a group closely approaches canine in nonthreatening manner).

b. Hailing taxi (someone steps out from around the corner, calls out, and waves).

c. Meet and greet (an individual approaches the dog and officer with his or her hand out and shakes hands).

d. Opening an umbrella (canine enters a room, and the umbrella is repeatedly opened and closed).

These tests are designed to reveal any signs of timidness or aggression. After initial acceptance, testing will continue for a period of 20 working days to ensure consistency in the canine’s performance and include medical evaluations. At the end of 20 working days, the canine acceptance will be determined.

3.2. Selection Criteria for NCF Canines

Canines acquired by NCF will be tested in El Paso, Texas, and must successfully pass the following tests:

3.2.1. Suitability Tests

A detection canine candidate shall exhibit an obsession to play with objects, have stable character, and be gun-sure and willing to surmount difficult obstacles. The canine should prefer to play with objects more than having food, water, or the attention of its handler. No commands will be given for the canine to retrieve.

Listed below are several tests that provide insight into a candidate’s suitability as a detection canine.

a. Stable Character Test—The canine will be brought around several people to judge how it responds. It should not be afraid or act aggressively toward anyone who approaches it; a happy, social attitude should be seen in its behavior. The canine will be walked on smooth tile floors to see if it is sure-footed. The canine should display no fear or discomfort. While the canine is standing or walking on-leash in a passive state, an umbrella will be opened suddenly in its face. The canine may show a slight startled reaction but should recover quickly. The canine will be tested for gun sureness, with several unusually loud gunshots being fired from about 50 feet behind it. The canine should show little or no reaction. The canine will be taken into tight places to see how it responds. It should confidently enter and investigate these areas without hesitation. In addition to the above tests, a search of a vehicle with the engine running may be performed at the discretion of the Government.

b. Retrieval Prey Drive Test—The canine will be evaluated to see if it will pursue not only objects it is familiar with but also strange, hard and soft objects. This test will be conducted in a ravine or on a hill. The canine, handler, and evaluator will stand downhill, and the handler will throw each object uphill and out of sight. With each object, the canine will be held online and will be released with no command. One by one, several objects, familiar and strange, will be thrown uphill for the canine to pursue. The canine will be judged on its alertness, speed, hunt, and grab of each object. The purpose is to determine if the canine will hunt for and play with strange objects while being physically stressed. Examples of strange objects are a piece of PVC pipe, a block of wood, and a piece of metal pipe. The canine’s behavior in this test will be assessed against the following ideal behavior:

1. Alertness—The canine should show undistracted interest when presented with each object and should pull hard against the leash as the object is being thrown.

2. Speed—Upon being released, the canine should demonstrate extreme physical effort in running to the area where the object fell.

3. Hunt—Upon reaching the area, the canine must show effective use of its olfactory senses in locating the object.

4. Grab—Upon locating the object, the canine should immediately grab it in its mouth and show a desire and satisfaction in playing with the object.

c. Perseverance Test—The canine will be pre-stimulated with an object that will then be placed under a heavy object (cement block, tire, etc.). The canine will then be released. The canine will be evaluated on its drive and desire to work out the problem and obtain the object. The purpose is to determine whether the canine possesses a sufficient desire to work to obtain the object and to determine the canine’s natural indication behavior (passive/aggressive). Ideal behavior for this test is, upon reaching the location of the object, the canine immediately engages in frantic biting and scratching behavior in an effort to dig and obtain the object or a frozen stare at the location of the object.

d. Water-Conflict Test—After the retrieve/prey test, the canine will be taken to a location where there will be a small pond, stream, or container of water. The canine will be shown the water and pre-stimulated with the object that will be thrown beyond the water. The canine will then be released. The ideal behavior is that the canine goes directly to the object without stopping to take a drink.

e. Food-Conflict Test—A test similar to the water conflict will be conducted with food. The canine will be pre-stimulated with the object that is then thrown downwind of the food. The canine will then be released. The desired behavior is that the canine disregards the food and pursues the object.

f. Handler/Object-Conflict Test—The canine will be brought to a location where there will be a six-foot-high chain-link fence or an overturned milk crate or like item. The canine will be pre-stimulated with an object that will be placed behind the fence or under the milk crate. The canine will then be released and the handler will walk out of sight. The canine should go to the object, show keen interest, and remain unaffected by the absence of the handler.

g. Hunt-Drive Test—The canine will be brought to a location where there will be a high degree of grass or brush. The canine will be pre-stimulated with an object, which will be thrown deep (more than 40 yards) into the grass or brush. The purpose is to determine the level of the canine’s hardness in pushing through the brush and if the canine will search for an extended period of time without losing interest. The ideal behavior for this test is that the canine crashes through the brush with maximum physical effort. Once in the brush, the canine must exhibit concentrated and frantic hunting behavior using its olfactory senses. The canine is expected to maintain this behavior for an extended period (4 to 5 minutes) without any assistance from the handler until such time that it locates the object. Upon locating the object, the canine should immediately grab the object in its mouth and demonstrate satisfaction in playing with it.

h. Online Search Test—The canine will be brought to a search area (shelves, vehicles, building, etc.). The canine will then be pre-stimulated with an object that will be placed out of sight in the search area at a location above ground level. The canine will then be directed through a systematic search of the area on a leash. Included in this search will be several areas above waist level. The purpose is to determine the degree of trainability and handler sensitivity in the canine. Ideal behavior for this test is that the canine will follow all directional commands and signals made by the handler. The canine must demonstrate effective use of its olfactory senses in searching the area where it is directed. Upon reaching the hidden object, the canine should show quick recognition of the odor of the object and display an undistracted desire to follow this odor and obtain the object.

3.2.2. Temperament and Genetic Drives

Throughout the selection phase, the canine must show that it possesses the temperament and genetic drives to work within a Border Patrol environment based on the following criteria:

a. Socialization—The canine must possess a sound temperament that will allow it to be approached by and work around groups of people without showing fear, becoming distracted, or reacting aggressively.

b. Courage/Confidence—The canine must display lack of fear and not be distracted by the following situations and environments:

1. Unsure footing (slick floors, rubble, etc.).

2. Tightly enclosed spaces.

3. Moving vehicles.

4. Loud noises (weapons fire, etc.).

5. Other live animals and their odors.

6. Startling situations (unforeseen events that the canine perceives a danger).

c. Drives—The canine shall possess, in varying degrees, the following genetic drives (drives are defined as subconscious impulses to react to stimuli):

1. Bunt—(high degree required)—The drive to search for thrown objects using all senses.

2. Air Scent—(high degree required)—The drive to use its olfactory capability to search for and locate thrown or hidden objects.

3. Prey—(required in the absence of retrieve)—The drive to chase, pick up, and play with all thrown objects (hard or soft).

4. Retrieve—(required in the absence of prey)—The drive to bring thrown objects back to the handler.

5. Activity—(some degree required)—The drive to be constantly in motion and engaged in activity and possessing abundant energy (commonly referred to as “hyper”).

6. Trainability—(some degree required)—Happily and willingly follows handler directions.

3.3. Testing for Other DHS Agencies

Other agencies within DHS are authorized to use this contract for canines they may need. Those agencies will specify in the orders issued where the acceptance test will be performed and whether the selection criteria in 3.1 or 3.2 above applies to the canines being acquired.

4. Required Documentation

The following documentation shall accompany the canine at the time of delivery:

a. Current vaccination records.

b. Current health certificate administered by a board-certified veterinarian. It will address the items listed in Paragraph 5.2 below.

c. Current X-rays (obtained less than sixty (60) days from the date of delivery) of the pelvis and hip area and the elbow of each forequarter in accordance with Paragraph 5.3 below.

d. Pedigrees, registration certificates, score books, breed surveys, and other proof of lineage or related paperwork if applicable.

5. Physical

5.1. In general, all canines acceptable for purchase must be in excellent health with no acute or chronic disease or condition. At the time of evaluation, each canine must be medically able to enter training.

5.2. A complete medical examination of the canine shall be performed by a licensed veterinarian prior to delivery. The results of the examination will be included on a health certificate provided with the canine. The medical examination will include:

a. Gait—Canine displaying any gait abnormality that could affect the canine’s ability to perform normal duty shall be disqualified.

b. Skin/Coat—Skin and coat should be healthy and not have any evidence of chronic dermatitis, allergies, infections, injuries, or external parasite infestations.

c. Teeth/Jaws—All canines must have normal dental occlusions. There shall be no evidence of canine teeth (all four) weakened by notching, enamel hypoplasia, or abnormal wear. Oral infection or excessive periodontal disease may be disqualifying.

d. Heart/Lungs—The canine’s heart rate, sounds, and rhythms must be normal. Cardiovascular and respiratory system, in general, must be normal at rest or upon exercise. Current heartworm disease is disqualifying.

5.3. Complete Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA)-quality radiographs, issued by a licensed veterinarian, shall be provided with the canine to ensure that the bones, joints, and muscles are healthy. The following applies:

Limbs/Joints—Any condition of the bones, joints, or muscles that will hamper or restrict the normal performance of duty will be disqualifying. These conditions include hip or elbow dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, or chronic lameness, fractures that are unhealed, and/or healed fractures that may restrict normal performance of duty, ligament or tendon damage, and muscular deficiency.

5.4. A certified veterinarian will perform a full physical (including X-rays) after the canine successfully completes the selection process to verify that the canine complies with the preceding physical requirements.

Section 1: Reactions to Various Stimuli/Situations

Section 1 is divided into five parts (A–E). Rate the canine’s reaction to each of the listed stimuli or situations under each part. Use a scale of 1 to 5, where the rating of 1 means poor and 5 means excellent.

Instructions for Part A–E:

Circle the number that represents your rating. At the end of each part, add your ratings, divide the sum by the total number of items in that part to get a mean (average) rating, and record the mean rating in the space provided. If the sum of the mean ratings is 18 or above, then consider whether to continue.

Rating Explanation:

Poor:

Canine will not eat treats at all.
Canine shows no interest in food. Canine sniffs food and walks away.
Canine startles and does not recover.
Canine goes off end of leash.

Fair:

Canine sniffs/licks treat.
Canine will occasionally spit treats out when stimuli is present.
Canine startles and is hesitant to repeat task.

Average:

Canine casually consumes treats (spends time on chewing them up).
Canine's attention cannot be held with a treat.
Canine startles but recovers with encouragement.

Good:

Canine will consistently take a variety of treats.
Canine shows desire for more treats.
Canine will only take a certain kind of treat.
Canine startles but recovers immediately.

Excellent:

Canine is attentive and focused on you or the task at hand.
Canine wants treats over people/stimuli.
Canine locates treat pouch.
Canine prefers food over any other kind of reinforcement.
Canine does not startle.

Part A: Food Incentive
 

Ratings

Food Incentive Stimuli or Situations* Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Takes food from hand 1 2 3 4 5
Takes food from floor 1 2 3 4 5
Takes food from up high 1 2 3 4 5
Takes food from under things 1 2 3 4 5
Other 1 2 3 4 5

*Food Incentive Stimuli or Situations Mean Rating: Must achieve a mean of 4 or above

Remarks:



NOTE: An asterisk (*) means that this portion of the test applies only to large breeds.


Part B: Social
 

Ratings

Social Stimuli or Situations* Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Children, infant, toddlers, teenagers 1 2 3 4 5
Adults 1 2 3 4 5
Small groups 1 2 3 4 5
One-on-one 1 2 3 4 5
Playfulness 1 2 3 4 5
Uniformed personnel 1 2 3 4 5
People with disabilities 1 2 3 4 5
Other: 1 2 3 4 5
*Social Stimuli or Situations Mean Rating: Must achieve a mean of 4 or above

Remarks:



Part C: Environmental
 

Ratings

Environmental Stimuli or Situations* Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Baggage carts 1 2 3 4 5
Conveyances 1 2 3 4 5
Forklift (vehicle ON) 1 2 3 4 5
Forklift (vehicle OFF) 1 2 3 4 5
Baggage carousels 1 2 3 4 5
Doorways 1 2 3 4 5
Tight quarters 1 2 3 4 5
Strange/new areas, e.g., bathrooms 1 2 3 4 5
Auditory stimuli, i.e., horns, intercom, alarms 1 2 3 4 5
Loud noises/voices 1 2 3 4 5
Strange dogs/cats 1 2 3 4 5
Containment/crate 1 2 3 4 5
Leash/slip collar 1 2 3 4 5
Umbrella 1 2 3 4 5
Falling baggage 1 2 3 4 5
Clipboard drop 1 2 3 4 5
Other 1 2 3 4 5
*Environmental Stimuli or Situations Mean Rating: Must achieve a mean of 4 or above

Remarks:



Part D: Footing
 
Ratings
Footing Stimuli or Situations* Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Conveyor belt ON 1 2 3 4 5
Conveyor belt OFF 1 2 3 4 5
Stairs 1 2 3 4 5
Title 1 2 3 4 5
Escalator approach 1 2 3 4 5
Other 1 2 3 4 5
*Footing Stimuli or Situations Mean Rating: Must achieve a mean of 4 or above

Remarks:



Part E: Obstacles
 
Ratings
Obstacle Stimuli or Situations* Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Baggage 1 2 3 4 5
Trolleys/carts 1 2 3 4 5
Natural objects 1 2 3 4 5
Pallet 1 2 3 4 5
Vehicles 1 2 3 4 5
Other 1 2 3 4 5
*Obstacle Stimuli or Situations Mean Rating: Must achieve a mean of 4 or above

Remarks:



Section 2: General Impression

Rate your general impression of the canine for each item in Section 2. Use a scale of 1 to 5 where the rating of 1 means “not at all” and 5 means “very great degree.” Circle the number that represents your rating.

 
Ratings
General Impression Items Not At All Very Little Some Degree Great Degree Very Great Degree
Does the canine make eye contact? 1 2 3 4 5
Will/does the canine make body contact? 1 2 3 4 5
Is it apparent that the canine has had previous training? 1 2 3 4 5
Is it apparent that the canine has had negative conditioning? 1 2 3 4 5
Will the canine sniff objects independently? 1 2 3 4 5
Is the canine nervous? 1 2 3 4 5
Does the canine startle? 1 2 3 4 5
Other 1 2 3 4 5

Remarks:



Comments:





Explain canine’s recovery time. If the canine is startled, it should take no longer than 3 to 5 seconds to recover. Note if any technique was used to aid in the recovery process.