Wednesday, 1 March 2023 - 4:37pm |
National News

Paws and applause for success

2 min read

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Three new Police dog teams are now working in Wellington and Dunedin after graduating from the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham.

With four to six years' general frontline policing experience behind them, graduating for the first time as operational handlers marks a special career goal for the officers. They’ve all wanted to join dog section from the outset.

Constables Andy Rutherford with Webb (18 months) and Dan Wilson with Tomeke, known as Fox (6 years) are both working in Wellington District while Constable Ciaran Jansen and Leo (3) are part of Dunedin’s dog section team in Southern District.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Jill Rogers, People and Capability, congratulated the new teams saying they and their colleagues have a key role in some volatile, challenging and dynamic situations. “That’s why we choose experienced, level-headed officers and carefully select the best dogs.  You will be called on to use all your training and that of your highly trained dog.”

She said police dog teams also undertake a range of equally important prevention and community engagement work, where chatting with people young and old and enabling some pats helps show that police are approachable and there for the public.

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator Police Dogs, says the new teams have worked hard in their districts and on formal courses to qualify as operational. “Dogs are a valuable asset and the training doesn’t stop with the opportunity for further specialist skills in armed offender or specialist search roles.

“The versatility, skills and experience of our teams means they can be deployed when needed to places outside their home districts. This has been evident in the last two weeks when patrol and search dogs have been deployed to help our colleagues in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.”

The graduation was also special for Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson, officer in charge of Wellington Dog Section, who retired the following day after 51 years of service in New Zealand Police, 45 years in Dog Section.



Photo 1: Ready for action – Graduating police dog handlers (from left) Wellington’s Constables Dan Wilson and with Fox and Andy Rutherford with Webb and Dunedin’s Constable Ciaran Jansen with Leo.

Photo 2: Wellington Dog Section’s new handlers Constable Dan Wilson and Fox (second left) and Andy Rutherford and Webb (second from right) flanked by Sergeant Rob Campbell (left), Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson, District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell and Sergeant Brett Marley (far right).

Photo 3: Dunedin’s Constable Ciaran Jansen and Leo, pictured with Acting Assistant Commissioner Jill Rogers, is happy to graduate and begin work.  Leo has being working operationally in the city for 10 months with another handler, but he will be Constable Jansen’s first operational dog. 

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