Three new crime-fighting canines become latest members of Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit
Three young crime-fighting canines have become the newest members of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Dog Unit.
Each of the German Shepherds completed a 12-week general purpose training course, which ran from 24 September to 13 December.
The course gave them the skills to become fully licensed police dogs and work alongside their handlers, responding to a range of incidents from searching for a missing person to tracking down a burglar.
All three new police dogs and their handlers were awarded their certificates by Chief Inspector Robin Sissons at force headquarters in Huntingdon on Thursday (13 December).
The dogs that completed their training and received their certificates were:
• Police dog Sonny, who is 15 months old, together with his handler PC Paul French
• One-year-old police dog Max, together with his handler PC Clive Warncken
• Police dog Darth, 18 months old, with his handler PC Paul Huggett
Handler PC Paul Huggett said: “The training course teaches the dogs everything they need to know for when they work alongside us.
“From searching for a missing person to tracking down a burglar, our police dogs play a vital role in our fight against crime.
“After completing their training Sonny, Max and Darth have a whole host of skills which will serve them well throughout their canine careers.
“It’s been a long process for many but it’s been very rewarding and everyone has worked very hard.
“It’s also worth mentioning that without our many police dog puppy volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
With 30 dog handlers and currently more than 40 dogs, the dog unit team provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week – with handlers patrolling with their dogs across the three counties.
Each officer handles a German Shepherd or similar breed, which is trained to track offenders or a missing person following the trail left by a person on the ground.
They search for people and/or items in buildings or open areas, chase and catch offenders and protect officers in dangerous situations.
Some dogs are also specially trained to detect drugs, cash, firearms or explosives through their sense of smell.