Photo/Story Gallery 2001

MDMA drug detection school

class photo with logos In the first training session of its kind in the state, Regional Instructor/Evaluator Trooper Michael Van Leer developed and taught a MDMA drug detection school May 14 – May 17, 2001 for MDMA, known on the street as Ecstasy.

After conferring with various State and Federal agencies and Dr. Kenneth Furton of Florida International University, Trooper Van Leer felt there was a need for this type of training because Ecstacy is a complex drug with many chemical combinations that vary, depending on the clandestine manufacturer. Each tablet had two distinct chemicals, which is present in all versions of the drug which the K-9’s were not taught to detect.

class photoOver two dozen K-9 officers and dogs attended the training, including officers from Florida Highway Patrol, Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Also attending the unique training class were officers from police departments from Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Coconut Creek and deputies from Okeechobee County and St. Lucie County Sheriffs Offices. A handler from the Department of Corrections was also in attendance.

The K-9 certification training was held at the West Palm Beach District station under a program developed by Dr. Kenneth G. Furton of the Florida International University. Trooper Van Leer was the first State Certified Instructor for Dr. Furton’s program.

This was a “pilot course” of several courses that will be scheduled throughout the state. Due to the inundation of MDMA/Ecstasy in Florida all law enforcement agencies are being encouraged to train their K9s in detecting this odor. In conjunction with the Florida Office of Drug Control Policy, the Florida Highway Patrol has offered to assist any law enforcement agency in the state of Florida obtain this training. Those interested should contact Lieutenant Marty Duncan, FHP Contraband Interdiction Coordinator at (850) 921-8202.