Construction works have started in Rēzekne to establish a Cynology Centre which will provide appropriate working conditions for customs cynologists and improve training opportunities for working dogs. The construction works are planned to be completed in the spring of 2022, reveals Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of SJSC “State Real Estate” (SRE).
Reconstructing the old warehouse buildings and garage premises at Maskavas Street 30, Rēzekne, it is planned to create a Cynology Centre with modern customs dog training rooms and well-maintained aviaries with a fenced walking area for the dogs to stay at in their free time from training. The new complex will allow expanding the training opportunities for customs dogs and conducting research that will promote the efficient use of resources in the Cynology Department of the SRS Customs Board.
Valdis Bikovskis, a senior customs expert of the Cynology Department of the SRS Customs Board, points out: “The Cynology Centre will help to strengthen the capacity of the Cynology Service of the SRS Customs Board by providing a training environment that meets modern requirements. This area is constantly evolving, so the modernized training infrastructure for dog handlers and working dogs is a very important step in the further development of the service's activities in order to contribute to the fight against crime. The construction of a modern Cynology Centre will provide training for customs dogs in all weather conditions and in a controlled environment to identify potential problems for the animal in a timely manner, testing its response to various external disturbances such as noise so as not to endanger human or animal health and well-being."
For the performance of construction works, SRE has entered into an agreement with SIA “Eltex”, the authors of the project: SIA “JC Stars”. Reconstruction of the warehouse building and garages will be implemented within the framework of the European Economic Area financial instrument programme “International Police Cooperation and Fight against Crime” project “Prevention and Combatting of Economic Crimes at the Terehova Border Crossing Point” and will be financed by the European Economic Area financial instrument (85%) and state budget (15%). The total cost of construction works is 364 861 EUR, the works are planned to be completed by spring 2022.
According to publicly available information, the Cynology Service of the SRS Customs Board was established in 2004 and currently employs cynologists with 43 working dogs trained in the search for tobacco products, narcotic and psychotropic substances and cash. Customs dog handlers with working dogs also participate in control activities in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, such as the State Police, the State Border Guard and others.
Last year, under the conditions of the pandemic, 17 national development projects with a total budget of 29.5 million euros were completed under the leadership of SRE. Under the conditions of the pandemic, in accordance with the precautionary and safety requirements, work at 43 national construction sites with a total project budget of 156 million euros continues under the management of SRE. SRE provides professional real estate management and administration for approximately 400 real estate properties with 1100 buildings of 1.02 million square metres and more than 3600 land properties of 9.6 million square metres. The company is one of 23 Latvian companies that have received the highest platinum award as part of the Sustainability Index of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, confirming the good governance and sustainability of its operations. SRE was founded in 1996, 100% owned by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia.