More frontline capability is coming to Southern District, with two additional Delta units joining existing dog teams.
“There is definite benefit and value in deploying more dogs and handlers to support our frontline,” says District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham.
“These highly-skilled Delta teams will provide us with more tactical options for our round-the-clock response work, prevention, and planned operations.
“In a dynamic policing environment, we need to have the right tools, training and support to keep the public and our staff safe.
“For a relatively small increase in staffing, we can have a disproportionately high impact on offending, and on the safety of our staff."
There are currently eight dogs across Southern District.
Of the two new handler and dog teams, one will be based in Southland and the other in Otago Coastal. Both areas also cover Otago Lakes.
“Southland is very excited with the allocation of the new dog position here in Murihiku,” says Southland Area Prevention Manager Andrew Karsten.
“The new position will go a long way to enhance the outstanding capability and capacity that our dog teams provide in keeping our frontline safe.
“Their presence is not only a further option to safely resolve incidents, but they also provide a level of leadership that comes with their experience.
“These positions will also provide an enhanced service to our rural staff and communities, building on the very good work currently done.”
The additional units on their way to Southern District will be involved in everything from attending priority incidents, prevention of crime, keeping our roads safe and engagement with schools and the community.
“More units will increase our capacity and provide improved coverage to Oamaru, Balclutha, Central Otago, and the Dunedin AOS,” says Otago Coastal Dog Section Supervisor Sergeant Mike Calvert.
“The extra positions will enable Southern District to deliver a service New Zealanders expect and deserve.”
Planning is now under way to source, train and deploy the units as soon as possible.