RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia State Police is celebrating the graduation of its largest class of police canine teams.
Officials say the 12 teams from two different states are set to graduate Friday at the Virginia State Police Training Academy in Chesterfield County.
Each team has completed 13 weeks of intensive, hands-on training. The teams include both narcotics-detection canines and patrol canines.
Officials say it's the largest class to graduate from the Virginia State Police Academy since the first class was held 51 years ago in 1961.
The canine teams include Virginia State Police and North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers, a Roanoke County police officer, and deputies from the Washington County, Westmoreland County, and Rutherford County, N.C., sheriff's offices. Three new Virginia State Police canine instructors and trainers also are graduating.
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