The Oregon Police Canine Association has stringent standards for both the dogs it certifies and the handlers who train them. Would-be police dogs are evaluated by the OPCA for proficiency in multiple areas. Most tested is a canine candidate's ability to use scent to track persons and objects. Trainers set up mock crime-scene scenarios and monitor a dog's alertness, quickness, and ability to uncover and retrieve evidence. Dogs are also judged on their ability to find and guard a hidden suspect without biting.
Canine candidates must undergo several agility tests, including jumping over fences and through car door windows, crawling through tunnels, climbing walls, ladders, and stairways, and navigating narrow walkways. ANNA BOND
AN EASy PILL TO SWALLOWEven as conservatives seem to be taking over every aspect of American life--the economy, the environment, our morals--it's nice to see the lefties still have a grasp on our reproductive rights. In a move certain to horrify John Ashcroft, last week Planned Parenthood gave even more access to morning-after pills.
In addition to prescribing the controversial abortion pill from its clinics, the organization will begin to dole out prescriptions for Emergency Contraception online. Better known as the "morning-after pill," and taken in the first five days after unprotected sex or a condom breakage, Emergency Contraception stops full fledge insemination and halts any chances for pregnancy.
According to Nancy Bennett from Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette, only 10 percent of reproductive-age women know about the product--a shame considering half of pregnancies in America are unintended. With the new online service, after a brief consultation, physicians can call in a prescription or overnight the product to a woman. This is especially helpful in rural areas, and for those who can't afford a doctor's appointment, says Bennett. The price is $30 for a consultation and about $30 for the pills. The service is available at ppcw.org. KATIE SHIMER