General pics at ISNR33-1665468297704

Abu Dhabi: Sergeant Fatima Al Jassmi doesn’t have a typical job. But interacting with her canine companion at the seventh edition of the International Exhibition of National Security and Resilience, the Emirati officer with the Dubai Police’s K9 Unit said her calling helps her serve her country to the best of her ability.

“I have served with the Dubai Police for more than two decades, and 11 of those years have been as a trainer for the K9 division,” the passionate trainer told Gulf News.

She was speaking on the sidelines of ISNR 2022, a three-day exhibition and conference in the capital that explores trends and developments in the security industry. The event, currently in its seventh edition, is being organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Group (ADNEC Group), in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Abu Dhabi Police.

Fatima Al Jasmi with a trained dog in the Dubai Police K9 Unit-1665468289866
Sergeant Fatima Al Jassmi with a trained dog in the Dubai Policce K9 Unit. Image Credit: Samihah Zaman, Senior Reporter

Sniffing for explosives, COVID-19

Sgt Fatima was one of the many officers attending the first day of the event, accompanied by at least two of the K9 Unit’s numerous four-legged officers. She specialises in training dogs to detect explosives, and was demonstrating the skills of Pablo, a four-year-old dog who was delighted to be in her company.

“I spend six hours a day working with the seven dogs in our unit. While they are trained to sniff out explosives, we trained them to detect COVID-19 cases during the pandemic. The dogs worked on screening thousands of people during the pandemic,” she said proudly.

In fact, Dubai Police announced earlier this year that trained dogs had been stationed as COVID-19 sniffers at UAE airports to help detect COVID-19 traced from passenger sweat samples, and proven to be 92 per cent accurate. A total of 38 canines, including German Shepherds, Labradors, cocker spaniels, and border collies, had been trained for the purpose, with the process ensuring no contact between canines and the passengers undergoing screenings.

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Opportunities for women

Sgt Fatima is one of six Emirati female trainers with the Dubai Police’s K9 Unit. She said women are strong and intelligent, and can excel in any field they choose.

“When I tell people what I do, many are surprised. But then, women are fully capable of whatever they set theirs minds to. Moreover, our leadership has always encouraged women to reach for the stars,” she said.

She also remains undaunted by the risks in her job.

“I get to serve my country, and that is an honour. Added to this, I share a special bond with our dogs due to the nature of our job. I have always loved dogs anyway, and these bonds certainly ease our tasks.”

UAE demo

ISNR will run in Abu Dhabi until Wednesday, and the official ceremony scheduled for Tuesday includes demonstrations of the UAE’s security capabilities and readiness. A series of talks alongside the exhibition will also see international experts discuss challenges and opportunities in cybersecurity, traffic management, and civil defence.

The three-day event is also expected to witness a number of major deals between government entities and private sector players in the security industry.

“Hosting this important international event aligns with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation, and promote international best practices in safety and stability,” said Major General Dr Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector-General of the Ministry of Interior and chairman of the ISNR 2022 Higher Organising Committee.