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The first statewide K-9 trainer and detection team certification program with independent scientific validation was started in 1998. This is a joint project between the International Forensic Science Research Institute and the National Forensic Science Technology Center which works in collaboration with the Florida Highway Patrol Contraband Interdiction Program and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in addition to other partners.

Learn about SWGDOG 


The program is intended to provide recommended scientific standards of practice for trainers and organizations while giving an additional layer of credentials to detection teams. Since 1998 it has been offered free of charge to agencies via grants and public service.

  • Goal

    The ongoing goal of this program is to continue to advance scientifically sound detection K-9 validation programs which are internationally recognized and improve contraband interdiction, from local enforcement to courtroom defensibility.

  • Guidelines

    Annually, more than 100 detection teams from dozens of different agencies across the state of Florida, including all of the Florida Highway Patrol’s narcotic and explosive detection teams, have been certified through this program. Teams also have been certified in other states as well as internationally (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). The program includes all types of detection canines including for arson, currency, drugs, explosives, persons, pests and weapons.  

    Certification Guidelines 

  • Parties

    Florida International University is a public Research I University located in Miami, Florida. In 1997, the International Forensic Research Institute was the first academic Forensic Center approved by the State to serve law enforcement efforts in the application of scientific principles to the administration of justice. FIU houses some of the State’s premier forensic science programs, including undergraduate programs since 1978 and the first State-approved graduate program in Forensic Science starting in 1998.

    The National Forensic Science Technology Center is now a program of Florida International University located in Largo, Florida. NFSTC was established by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors in 1995 and has as its mission the development of several initiatives aimed at servicing various segments of the forensic science community.