Friday, 15 June 2018 - 1:06pm

Can-do canines ready for street

2 min read

News article photos (7 items)

dog lineup
with 4

Forget Batman and Robin – some real dynamic duos are ready to get out there and fight crime.

Five Police patrol dog teams and three Customs detector dog teams graduated from the Dog Training Centre at Trentham yesterday.

Four of the Police handlers are experienced in the job, with 11 previous dogs between them. The fifth is a new handler graduating with his first dog.

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator Police Dogs, thanked the families gathered at the centre for the support they had shown and would continue to show the handlers.

Todd and Jamie Bramford, Group Manager Intelligence, Investigation, Enforcement for NZ Customs, both praised the close working relationship enjoyed by the agencies in their work to keep New Zealanders safe

Jamie said the three new Customs dogs - Labradors Ultra, Rani and Willow - would be on the front line in the battle against the methamphetamine and other drugs flooding into the country.

Constable Stu Cann, of Timaru, graduating with his first dog Saba, said he was “chuffed” to now be a handler after fostering three police puppies - Mills, Oza and Nox.

Oza is Police’s current National Patrol Dog Champion and hit the headlines recently when he donated blood to save his injured canine colleague Kosmo after he was stabbed.

“It’s great to finally be here as a handler and see the other side of things,” said Stu.

Sergeant Warren Sangster, Dog Section supervisor at Tairawhiti-Gisborne, graduated with Abel, his third dog.

Before moving to Gisborne 18 months ago, Warren worked in Hamilton Dog Section for five years and Taupō Dog Section for ten years. He has worked with patrol, search and rescue and victim recovery dogs.

Senior Constable Tim Roy, of Dunedin, graduated with Targa – his fifth operational dog. Tim has been a handler for nine years, seven years in Timaru and two in Dunedin.

Two of the new teams are heading for Auckland - Senior Constable Tony Feasey, with Primo, and Senior Constable Grant Burrows, with Haven.

Primo is Tony’s fifth dog. He has served for 18 years on the dog section, before which he was a member of the Eagle helicopter crew. Haven is Grant’s second operational dog in his two-and-a-half years as a handler.

The Police handlers received their certificates from Kaye Calder, from Police’s Public Relations team, whose long-time involvement with the Dog Section includes coordinating their appearances in the Dog Squad reality TV series.

The graduating Customs handlers were Customs Officers Nick Matchitt, with Ultra, Jo-Ann Stephenson, with Rani, and Tegan Harvey, with Willow. They are all based in Auckland.