(Los Angeles, California – June 17, 2014) The canine team of owner/handler Los Angeles Airport Police Officer Anan Chiang and her dog, a Weimaraner named Rocky, was recently certified to assist in searches for lost and missing persons in California. Officer Chiang, an eight-year veteran of Airport Police, passed the final exam of the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit search-and-rescue organization and the largest volunteer search-dog organization in America.
Officer Chiang, assigned to the Los Angeles Airport Police Professional Standards Unit as a background investigator, fulfilled a long-time goal to assist the public as a search-and-rescue volunteer by dedicating her personal time to the intense, three year-long training regimen with Rocky. A few days following their CARDA certification in late-May, Officer Chiang and five-year-old Rocky deployed for the first time for a volunteer assignment in Santa Barbara.
Founded in 1976, CARDA’s mission is to train, certify, and deploy highly-qualified, search-dog teams to assist law-enforcement and other public-safety agencies in the search for lost and missing persons. CARDA search-dog teams participate in 200 to 400 searches annually, ranging from a lost hiker to persons missing after a natural disaster or catastrophe. Since CARDA’s establishment, its teams have participated in thousands of missing-person searches, saving public-safety agencies millions of dollars through the use of volunteer resources.
CARDA’s services are available worldwide. CARDA volunteers pay for their own supplies, equipment, and travel expenses. Training under the guidance of CARDA sponsors, Officer Chiang and Rocky went to various locations throughout California up to three times a week -- all while maintaining her full-time assigned duties with Los Angeles Airport Police.
In late-May, Officer Chiang and Rocky completed CARDA’s final test, which mimics a real-life search-and-rescue for one to three hidden live subjects over a rough 100-acre terrain within a four-hour period.
Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said, “This type of commitment to help others in need is a personal achievement for Officer Chiang, and this is how each and every one of us is able to make a difference in people’s lives beyond the call of duty we face each day.”
The Los Angeles Airport Police Division is the nation's premier aviation law-enforcement agency with over 1,100 specially trained police officers, security officers, and civilian staff protecting Los Angeles International, LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys airports.