Cell Phone Detection Dogs And Training

Offering unparalleled cell phone detection dogs

Over the years, continual advancements in technology have been remarkable and, with the consumers’ constant desire for the newest and most up to date merchandise, there will be no slowing down. This is particularly true with cell phone technology; every year’s new model is vastly superior to its predecessors. Each new model delivers more power with expanded features packed into a smaller case that uses less battery power to operate. They have become an important part of our lifestyle and are a useful tool to help us navigate through life.

Unfortunately, as useful as these upgrades have become for law abiding citizens, they have also proven to be as fruitful for felons within the penal system. Cell phones in correctional facilities are perhaps the worst type of contraband and one of the fastest growing problems faced by corrections officers. The smaller these phones get, the more concerning the problem becomes. It makes them significantly easier to smuggle into the facilities and then conceal once they have reached their destination.

How Are Cell Phones Smuggled Into Prisons?

Cell phones are smuggled into prisons in a variety of methods. Inmates have a plethora of time to design new routines of importation and concealment but there are a few common approaches. They can be smuggled into prisons on work release programs, by visiting family members, through contractors hired to do work within the facilities and sometimes even corrections officers. In 2008, a correctional officer working in California resigned after he admitted to selling contraband cell phones to inmates for an eventual profit of more than $100,000.

Preventing their use is difficult once inside correctional facilities. Federal Communications Commission bars the use of cell phone jamming equipment as it interferes with 911 calls and disrupts public safety communications.

Once a cell phone has been smuggled into a correctional facility and into the hands of an inmate, they are gifted with luxuries that defeat the purpose of them being incarcerated in the first place. They have the ability to make calls to family and loved ones and claim to do so due to the incredible expense of collect calls from prison. However on a more sinister level, cell phones deliver inmates with the capability to run criminal organizations, discuss with associates, orchestrate murders and intimidate potential witnesses. It’s even possible for inmates to plot escape plans and this scenario has in fact become a reality in the past. In 2005, inmate George Hyatte used a cell phone concealed in a jar of peanut butter to attempt an escape that resulted in the murder of corrections officer Wayne Morgan.

How Do correctional staff detect cell phones?

With such severe consequences of the contraband making its way inside prison walls, cell phones are creating a mass incentive for correctional staff to address the situation. Prison systems worldwide are facing the same problems with cell phones and are beginning to tackle the issue.

There are a number of options for correctional staff to consider in regards to cell phone detection methods. Technology available include managed access systems, metal detectors and X-Ray systems.

A managed access system is a localized cell network placed within the prison grounds. Phones prefer a network with the strongest signal so phones inside the prison will automatically choose the local network as opposed to the nearest tower. This network has a list of registered phones it will allow to connect with the nearest tower while any phones not registered will be denied. Unfortunately this technology is not perfect and cannot be used as a single method of prevention. The entire prison must get reception and if an inmate discovers an out of the way area with weak or no signal they will be free to use their cell as desired. This technology is expensive and has cost taxpayers millions of dollars nationwide with a not so incredible success rate. Not to mention inmates will still be able to make calls if they can receive access to a registered phone.

Metal detectors and X-Ray systems can also be used to intercept cell phones before they have a chance to weasel their way into the prison system. An advantage of this technology is that these systems are already installed in most correctional facilities. These devices are excellent tools for finding metal objects such as knives but they are not as effective at locating hidden cell phones as they are made almost entirely of plastic with not enough metal component to trip the metal detectors. Cell phones can be placed within other electronic devices and it can be easy for somebody to miss a concealed cell phone using X-Ray machines.

These high tech methods are useful in the interception of cell phones attempting to make their way into prison however they are in no way perfect. Perhaps fighting technology with technology might not be the answer to our problem. Maybe what’s needed is a motivated officer armed with a motivated cell phone detection canine.

The Benefits of a Cell Phone Detection Dog

Detection dogs have been used by handlers to locate and pinpoint odor with incredible success for years now. Explosives, narcotics, human odors, currency, and basically anything with a scent can be imprinted on a detection dog. When we take into consideration that all cell phones have a few very specific components that are built into every model then we can use these parts to imprint and train our very own cell phone detection dogs which is exactly what we do at Highland Canine Training LLC.

A well trained cell phone detection canine team is a pragmatic method to address the influx of cell phone smuggling attempts into correctional facilities and locating hidden cell phones within the facility. A canine has the ability to search multiple cells quickly and efficiently. The canine’s ability to discriminate between odors means that contraband cannot be concealed with masking odors. If a cell phone is hidden within food or anything to try and disguise the smell, it will not be overlooked and can easily be located. If the contraband is hidden behind walls or inside objects, this faces no problem for the well trained canine. Compared to expensive technologies that have a less than impressive success rate, a cell phone detection canine team is a cost effective solution to the surge of cell phones being smuggled into prison walls.

At Highland Canine Training, LLC, we take the privilege of training cell phone detection dogs very seriously. We understand that a contraband cell phone in the hands of an inmate is dangerous for correctional officers and jeopardizes the safety of the broader public also. 

For this reason, anything less than the best is unacceptable in our eyes. You can take comfort in knowing a number of our trainers have years of past law enforcement experience or are still currently serving. Our trainers are enthusiastic and committed to training the best canine teams and we believe that your success is our success. 

Upon purchase of a cell phone detection dog, we also offer a course for the new handlers to gain and practice all the skills necessary to successfully handle a detection canine. We have the luxury of having access to an abundance of training areas for you to perfect your craft. Detection training is something we will always be passionate about and, due to the fallout of a cell ending up in the wrong hands, cell phone detection is no exception.

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