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RGP welcomes new police dogs and honours retiring canine

PC Stig, the first recipient of the badge of honour on retirement, sits obediently as his fellow canine and their handlers including the new additions to the dog section prepare to pose for a group photograph. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

A passing out ceremony was held for three new police dogs- Flash, Nyx and Gus - at New Mole House yesterday in the presence of the Commissioner of Police, Ian McGrail.

Inspectors, officers and staff members also attended as did other canines from the Dog Section.

Among them was Stig, who officially retired from service last week and was presented with a badge of honour from Commissioner McGrail. This was in recognition of “his valuable contribution in numerous policing operations”.

At the passing out ceremony, newly-qualified dog handlers PC Victor Harrison with PD Flash, PC Radka Almeida accompanied with PD Nyx and PC Emma Rowbottom together with PD Gus, received certificates of achievement from Commissioner McGrail.

PC Almeida with PD Nyx are looked on by Inspectors, officers and staff members as they took part in their passing out parade at New Mole House yesterday.  Pic by Eyleen Gomez

PC Almeida with PD Nyx are looked on by Inspectors, officers and staff members as they took part in their passing out parade at New Mole House yesterday. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

This followed a 16 week training period, a programme approved by the UK National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

A Bedfordshire Police assessor came over to certify the dogs and the training while assessing the three handlers and their dogs.

The course instructor is former police officer Louis Baglietto of Let K9 Services who was contracted to provide the tuition and the dogs.

First out in the parade was PC Rowbottom with PD Gus, who is a 14 month old German Shepherd, followed by PC Almeida with PD Nyx another German Shepherd and she will be two years old on February 28. Lastly there was PC Harrison with PD Flash, who is brother to PD Nyx and came from the same litter.

PD Nyx presented an extra challenge to the handlers of PD Gus and PD Flash as she was in heat. However, the all dogs remained professional and caused no extra work for their handlers.

Commissioner Mc Grail carried out an inspection of the three K9 teams. Following this all three teams carried out demonstrations, PD Nyx was first and showed her ability to take commands and carried out a basic heal work routine.

PC Almeida with PD Nyx. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

PC Almeida with PD Nyx. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

Obedience sits at the forefront of training, as it is through this training that the teams can be deployed safely and under control.

Next was PC Rowbottom with PD Gus confronted a non-compliant individual [an officer wearing protective clothing].

PC Rowbottom with PD Gus. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

PC Rowbottom with PD Gus. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

The officer called out to the individual different instructions altering him to the fact she will release the dog should he not obey. He didn’t and PD Gus was set upon him in a bid to get him to hold and comply. It worked.

Finally, PD Flash carried out an article search under the command of PC Harrison. The dog is trained to find the article based on human scent and indicate passively when it is found.

PC Harrison with PD Flash. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

PC Harrison with PD Flash. Pic by Eyleen Gomez

Commissioner Ian McGrail said: “I would like to welcome the three police dogs to the RGP family in the expectation and with the confidence that their rigorous training will be put to good use, and that they will provide a valuable service to police operations across a whole spectrum of police work.”