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Albania: Minister of Internal Affairs Credits ICITAP for Transformation of Canine Training Institute

On August 17, the Albanian State Police (ASP) Canine Training Institute held a commemoration ceremony, attended by the ICITAP-Albania Mission Advisor, to mark the 70th year of the unit’s existence. During remarks at the ceremony, both the Minster of Internal Affairs and the Director General of the ASP repeatedly credited the training and equipment donations provide by ICITAP as being critical to the transformation of the Institute from its previous focus on developing dogs as instruments of oppression by the Communist regime against Albanian citizens to a modern, service-focused organization breeding and training highly specialized canines. They highlighted successful seizures of narcotics, detections of explosives, seizures of weapons, and apprehension of concealed fugitives which were made possible by specialized ICITAP training courses geared to build the particular skills necessary for each of these missions. The ASP General Director emphasized the successful rescue missions carried out one dog, Brandi, and her handler during the November 2019 earthquake in Albania. This dog made repeated entries into collapsed building to locate survivors in the rubble, making their rescue possible. Both speakers praised ICITAP’s facilitation of international cooperative efforts with the United States European Command, Bulgaria, and Turkey to improve professional cooperation with those countries and strengthen the gene pool of their dogs. In Albania, ICITAP works with the support of and in coordination with the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

Updated August 11, 2023