Thursday, 5 October 2017 - 5:48pm

New dog teams make the grade

1 min read

News article photos (5 items)

dog lineup
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dog shirt

What’s got six legs and keeps our communities safe? A police dog team, and five new ones are now on the job in New Zealand.

Four patrol dog teams and one narcotic detector dog team graduated yesterday from the Police Dog Training Centre at Trentham.

Addressing the ceremony, Commissioner Mike Bush said it took teamwork to produce a police dog, involving the training staff, the handlers and foster families who cared for the dogs before their training began in earnest.

Among the fosterers present to see their former pups graduate was the family of Constable Graham Eddy, of Counties Manukau District, who died in December while the family was fostering puppy Gaze, now patrol dog Gaze.

“We aspire to be the safest country - that requires all of us to be the best at what we do,” said Commissioner Bush.

“If you compare our dog section internationally we’re at the top of our game and that’s because of the efforts you all put in as a team.”

He acknowledged Graham’s partner Allie and daughters Maddie and Scarlett. “It’s lovely to see you here today,” he said.

After the ceremony Allie said the family had fostered Gaze – their second foster puppy – for six months.

“I can’t put into words how special it is to be here today,” she said. “It was Graham’s dream to be a dog handler and fostering was the start of the process.

“I know how proud he would be to see Gaze today.”

Allie said the family were very appreciative of the support from Graham's colleagues including Chay, who has kept them up to date with Gaze's progress - and who supplied the girls' Gaze t-shirts.

The graduating patrol dog teams were: Senior Constable Chay Andrews and Gaze (Auckland); Constable Dan Turner and Kong (Wellington); Constable Andrew Lillie and Kase (Christchurch); and Senior Constable Graham Hawkins and Quinn (Hawke’s Bay).

Senior Constable Chris Harris (Auckland) graduated with drug detector dog Floyd.