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For Immediate Release

March 30, 2004

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

NH-DOC USES CANINES TO SNIFF OUT CONTRABAND IN ITS FACILITIES

(Concord, NH) Mrs. Les Dolecal, Acting Commissioner of the NH Department of Corrections, announced that about 18 law enforcement canine units were enlisted to seek out contraband in four state prisons and one halfway house. An operation of this magnitude was the first of its kind in the New Hampshire state prison system.

"The department can not tolerate contraband in its facilities and we will use these and other methods to control and discourage its introduction," Acting Commissioner Dolecal stated.

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections coordinated the operation with the support of the New Hampshire State Police, the Londonderry, Milford, Plaistow, and Sunapee Police Departments, and The Working Dog Foundation of Portsmouth, NH.

The canines were taken into common areas where offenders congregate and work as well as into housing units.

"This is the first time that we have utilized canines on this scale and it will not be the last time," Acting Commissioner Dolecal said.

"Our first priority is for the safety of the public, staff, and offenders and we see this as a responsible way to maintain that safety as well as the orderly operation of our facilities," Mrs. Dolecal concluded.

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