KAJANG – The Prisons Department will be given more bite with thÂ widening of its canine unit (K9) to six sections according to zones nationwide to fight the so-called IS threat.
Director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar said greater importance was given to the K9 unit, in lieu of prisoners sentenced under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) and their involvement with the IS.
He said such measure was in line with the current requirements to upgrade security at prisons naionwide.
Zulkifli said the K9 Unit was first formed in 2008 under the Kajang Prison Complex’s Security and Intelligence Department.
Later, K9 units were established at prisons nationwide, such as in Seberang Perai (Penang); Tapah (Perak); Simpang Renggam (Johor) and Bentong (Pahang).
“For Sabah and Sarawak, the K9 unit was formed in the state prison headquarters respectively, with each section provided with four tracker dogs.
“Two dogs are assigned for crowd control and two more for search and detection duties, apart from the prisons being equipped with the necessary infrastructure,” said.
He said this in a speech during the closing ceremony of a dog handling skills training course participated by 23 prisons officers and personnel at the K9 Unit in the Kajang Prison Complex here today.
“This unit has 41 trained dogs and it is an added value for the prisons department to assist in times of prison crises,” he said.
To improve the K9 unit, Zulkifli said the prisons department had allocatedÂ a total of RM5 million, specifically for the K9 Development Programme for the 2014-2015 period.
The allocation includes providing infrastructure, upgrading K9 Unit branches nationwide, purchasing trained dogs, dog training equipment and vehicles for the unit, he added. – BERNAMA