Maureen Maduro-Nicholson, whose family hails from Baugher’s Bay on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has been doing great things in the United States, where she trains dogs in criminal apprehension and personal protection.
She also teaches the animals to detect narcotics, firearms, explosives, and pipeline leaks.
“I am the only woman as of now that is training dogs to detect leaks in [natural gas and oil] pipelines. It’s pretty new to the canine world, and the canine division as far as detection for canines goes,” the BVI belonger told BVI News Online.
Though her profession is dominated by men, Maduro-Nicholson has managed to hold her own.
“It wasn’t a walk in the park, but I never felt insecure. I never had an issue… Yes, being a woman, it is a little challenging. You’re a woman and so some men might look at you and think that you’re not up to par with what they know. But I can honestly say I rarely experience that. If I ever did, I cannot recall.”
Maduro-Nicholson, who also specializes in security and firearm instruction, said she endorses the idea of more women joining the ‘rewarding’ profession in which she now is a standout.
“I would like to encourage individuals, especially females, to pursue a career in law enforcement or training in the area of self-protection. Whether it be self-defence, firearm training, training for explosives, narcotics, firearm and ammunition detection. I highly recommend going into these areas – as the world is changing and has changed.”
Maduro-Nicholson’s success story started as a romantic affair some two decades ago when she met Paris Nicholson – the man who turned out to be her husband.
He, at the time, was operating a security business in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
“When we met, I was actually working on Main Street in St Thomas… He met me there and we started to date. We started to get to know each other. I started to show interest in the business and so he brought me on and I started to manage the office.”
Maduro-Nicholson recalled developing an intention to learn the trade when she started to go on nightly security ride-alongs with her then sweetheart.
“It just basically started from there. We opened up the US Virgin Island’s first indoor shooting range – Bullseye. I helped instruct firearm course during that time with him. We ended up selling that company and we moved to the [United] States.”
She stated that, with her husband’s expertise as a former police officer attached to the canine division, eventually, they started another business called K9 On Patrol Services Inc (KOPS) in Florida, USA.
The company focuses on men and dog security training. “I started learning about training dogs with him – narcotic and explosive dogs. That was exciting for me. It was very new to learn that aspect of the business,” added Maduro-Nicholson.
As her skills developed, she started to train dogs for various law enforcement agencies.
Maduro-Nicholson, who said she still considers the British Virgin Islands her home, has clients here too.
“We started working with British Virgin Islands Customs – training dogs and other services to them. I think that was about 2000/2002.”
Maduro-Nicholson added that she and her husband still do business with other local law enforcement agencies and private security firms.
She added that KOPS was in the BVI just last week training a cohort of security officers for a private firm. Maduro-Nicholson also trained security officers and dogs for other countries throughout the Caribbean.
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