The National Police Bloodhound Association is holding their annual training seminar this week at Camp Allegany in the Red House area of Allegany State Park. This is the 13th year that the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office has hosted the event in the park.
The NPBA will be celebrating their 50th anniversary later this year, and holds seminars around the country to keep dogs and their handlers up to date on the latest techniques.
Close to 70 people and 60 bloodhounds will be in attendance for the week-long event.
"This whole seminar is geared towards man-trailing," said Doug Lowry, retired Maryland State Trooper and president of the NPBA. "We work with the dogs teaching them to learn scents and follow the trail. All of the dogs that are here this week work as a part of police bloodhound teams."
Steven Hobson, a New York State Trooper from Troop K near Poughkeepsie, was on hand with his bloodhound Darby, a 3-year-old female that works as a tracker. According to Hobson, Darby was doing extremely well during the seminar, and earlier Wednesday morning she had successfully tracked a scent trail more than a mile long through an area that had seen a lot of traffic, both from cars as well as from other attendees and dogs, which can make it difficult.
Bloodhounds have a long history of being used in law enforcement, specifically for drug sniffing, tracking, odor specific identifications, locating evidence and bomb sniffing.
Doug Lowry, retired Maryland State Police and president of the National Police Bloodhound Association, with Watson, a 3-year-old bloodhound.
P-J photo by Ryan Atkins
Membership into the NPBA is open to any sworn law enforcement personnel or other individuals possessing police powers. Individual applicants must be actively using bloodhounds in law enforcement and search and rescue and all applicants are required to serve a one year probationary period. During this period, the applicant is required to submit search reports, training records, news articles and any other pertinent information to the NPBA.
For more information about bloodhounds and the NPBA, visit www.npba.com.