Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Latest canine recruits graduate

Five new police patrol dog teams are fully trained up and ready to start shifts after graduating from the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre at Trentham this week.

The handlers and their dogs were celebrated in front of whānau and friends, several members of the New Zealand Police executive and British High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, Her Excellency Iona Thomas.

Also, in attendance was former dog-handler and Minister of Police, Mark Mitchell.

Central, Wellington, Tasman and Canterbury Police Districts are set to benefit from the newly graduated teams.

Chris De Wattignar, Deputy Chief Executive People, Leadership and Culture congratulated them all. 

“Congratulations to all five teams – it’s a proud day for you and thank you for your commitment to what is such an essential part of our style of policing in New Zealand,” he said.

“As you will know from your front-line work, you will work in situations where you’ll experience challenges and risks and where you’re called on to use all your skills and your dog to resolve or help conclude those situations safely.

“You and your dogs are a critical component in our Tactical Response Model, with support from other specialists such as Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) qualified staff and the introduction of tactical dog team roles.”

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator Police Dogs, says the new teams have worked incredibly hard in their districts and on their formal courses to qualify as operational today.

“These teams have worked long and hard for this, and they will be excellent assets in their districts and the communities.”

“All our patrol dog teams play a crucial role in the way we police often unstable and precarious situations. These dog teams are essentially a first call to action for the frontline,” he said.

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