New police dog brings new potential for Dog Section
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Northamptonshire Police’s Dog Section has this month been joined by a newly licensed Victim Recovery Dog - the first of its kind the section has seen.
Two-year-old Springer Spaniel, Alfie, successfully passed his licensing alongside his handler, PC Ian Mcdonald, on March 31 following 12 months of continuous training and a further six weeks of intensive skills training.
Victim recovery, or crime scene dogs, are trained to search for and detect human remains. They can be used to detect victims of drowning, whether they are a victim of crime, accidental or other. They are also trained to forensically search crime scenes for evidence of DNA.
Alfie’s training has ensured he has been specifically trained in a wide range of specialist recovery tactics, including victim recovery, bodily fluid detection, crime scene investigation as well as water bank side recovery.
Due to the specialist nature of his training, Alfie will provide policing support across the county, as well as sharing his expertise cross-border throughout the country as needed by other police forces.
On his training, PC Mcdonald said: “I have been really impressed with Alfie’s work ethic and strong commitment to his training. He has clearly come from a litter of well trained spaniels, as both his brother and sister licenced alongside him and will be working in the neighbouring Bedfordshire region.
“The successful completion of his training was made even more special as it coincided with his second birthday on April 2. He truly is a fantastic dog and I can’t wait to start working with him and see the fantastic results come rolling in.”
Following Alfie’s licensing, this brings the current total number of working dogs within the Force’s section to 15, including general purpose and specialist search dogs.
This continued expansion follows the recent launch of the Dog Sections new fleet of 4x4 Skoda Kodiaq 2.0s, which have equipped them with additional crimefighting capabilities by utilising the latest in vehicle technology.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “Within the last few years, Northamptonshire Police’s Dog Section has gone from strength to strength, introducing a range of new policing skills never before seen within the county, which PD Alfie – in his victim recovery role – is only the latest example of.
“Whilst the results achieved by Alfie won’t always be in the best of circumstances, his vital work and unparalleled skills in victim recovery and forensic detection will prove hugely beneficial for policing the county and providing effective cross-border support with police forces nationwide.
“However the investment in the section doesn’t end here, as we will see more handlers and police dogs passing their licensing and joining the team in the coming months. I am impressed on a daily basis with the crime fighting capabilities and successful outcomes achieved by the police dogs and their handlers, and look forward to continue seeing them set the standard for canine policing across the country.”
In line with the Force’s policy, Alfie will be formally assigned a unique collar number which will stay with him throughout his policing career.
To keep up with PC Mcdonald and Alfie’s progress, you can follow the Dog Section on Twitter @NorthantsDogs.