May paws be with you – eight Police dog teams graduate

Eight new police patrol dog teams are now trained up and ready to go after graduating from the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham today. Four different districts benefit from this newly graduated cohort and the graduates will be heading to those regions throughout New Zealand; Northland, Auckland, Hawke’s Bay and Waikato.

The force is strong in this team – Constable Zane Carlyon from Hamilton and his first dog, two-and-a-half-year-old Obi-Wan, are new for Waikato. Zane has worked frontline for four years including a stint in the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) and worked as part of a Tactical Dog Team for nine months prior to joining Dog Section.

Eastern District score three new handlers and dogs next week with Constable Cole Devenport and Lacey, Constable Mitch Wooding and Boris, and Constable Alan Hogarth and Igar. All three officers have AOS experience and a combined total of 21 years’ experience in Police.

Mitch, bound for Hawke’s Bay says, “It’s been a rewarding but also challenging experience to get to this point, it’s going to be good to put all this training into practice with my mate Boris.”

Alan and Igar are off to Gisborne and says he’s putting the effort in now to reap the rewards later. “Igar loves a swim and like most dogs, enjoys playing with a toy.”

Returning handler Constable Joe Wright will be supporting newcomer Constable Christian Linder as they begin work in Whangārei next week.

Joe is back for a third time as a patrol dog handler with his new three-year-old pup Jaxon. Joe’s policed in Northland for the last eight years in Kaikohe and Kaeo.

Christian worked front line and AOS in Kaitaia and qualified as a detective this year after a stint in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). His experience will serve him very well as he heads out with 21-month-old dog Hadys.

Auckland handlers and their dogs are Constable Ryan Whitelock with Ozzie, and Constable Brendan Munster with Kyiv.

Ryan is graduating with his first operational, dog 16-month-old “Ozzie”. Ryan has been with Police for nine and a half years. He has worked for six years at Counties Manukau, a year on Protection Services and now 18 months as a Trainee Dog Handler. Ryan says, “Hard work and perseverance pays off.”

Brendan has been with the Auckland Dog Section since May 2019. He says, “Kyiv is my second operational dog since working with Primo for four years. It’ll be great to get back out on the street and catch some baddies with Kyiv. My first operational dog was Primo but after a recent back operation, Primo is now retired and living with me as a pet.”

Primo features in the 2024 Police Dog Trust Calendar as the winning image. He’s pictured swimming through water for a ‘suspect’. This award-winning photo in the calendar was captured during a water skills and tracking exercise in the Clevedon area.

Chris de Wattignar, Deputy Commissioner: People, Leadership and Culture congratulated the new Police teams.

“My sincere congratulations – it’s a proud day for you all and thank you for your commitment to what is such an integral part of our style of policing in New Zealand,” he said. “As some of you returnee handlers already know, you will work in situations where you will encounter challenges and risks, where you be called on to use all your training and your highly trained dog to resolve or help resolve those situations.

” You are also a vital component in our new Tactical Response Model, with support from other specialists such as Armed Offenders Squad qualified staff and the introduction of tactical dog team roles,” he says.

Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator Police Dogs, says the new teams have worked diligently in their districts and on all their formal courses to qualify as operational.

“These teams have worked very hard for this, and they will be real assets in their districts and the communities they serve – and just in time for Christmas.”

We are very lucky to have six new handlers this time around and two experienced ones to help lead the way.”

All our patrol dog teams play a vital role in the way we police some really volatile, dynamic situations on the frontline. These dog teams are essentially very much the front of the frontline,” he says.

The graduation was attended by whānau and friends of the graduates as well as Jill Rogers, Assistant Commissioner Leadership, Talent & Development and Superintendent Warwick Morehu, Director of Training, Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) and other members of the Police executive.

/NZ Police Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.

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