Conference features drug dog competition

Published 1:30 am Sunday, April 29, 2012

The former ParkView Regional Medical Center campus is going to the dogs.

The former Marian Hill chemical dependency center on the campus will be a training ground this week for about 250 drug dogs, said Rick McDaniel, a crime scene investigator with Vicksburg Police Department who helped bring the event to Vicksburg.

“I think right now the farthest dog I have coming in is from Canada,” McDaniel said.

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The training is part of the national conference of the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association, the largest canine officer association in the country, McDaniel said. Vicksburg was chosen over about 100 other cities to host the conference.

“We’ll have classroom training and then we’ll have hands-on training through the week,” he said.

McDaniel said the former Marian Hill chemical dependency center makes a perfect training area for drug dogs because it has numerous empty rooms, which can be outfitted with lockers, filing cabinets and other potential hiding places for narcotics.