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Source: South Australia Police

Two General Purpose (GP) German Shepherd dogs and one Firearms and Explosive detector (FED) Labrador Retriever dog will graduate with their handlers today after completing their respective courses.

The dogs were selected due to their high drives, exceptional nerves and natural protective instincts.

During the demanding four month GP training course, PD Rusty and PD Judge were trained in obedience exercises, agility, tracking, area and building searching and criminal apprehension techniques.

PD Orbit completed an eight week Firearms and Explosive Detector dog course where he was trained to detect numerous firearms / explosives odours. He has been trained to search buildings, open areas and vehicles and will complement the other ten specialist dog teams operating across the state.

Senior Constable First Class (SC1C) Levi Struthers will graduate with PD Judge, now 2 years old. Levi has been with the Dog Operations Unit for the past two years.  Levi was formally a Passive Alert Drug Detection dog handler but has transitioned across to GP.

SC1C Ben Fisher graduates with 16 month old PD Rusty and is Ben’s first GP dog. Ben has been with the Dog Operations Unit for the past year.

SC1C Bryan Whitehorn graduates with PD Orbit who is 2 and a half years old. Bryan has had a long career in the Dog Operations Unit, with next month, marking 20 years of service in the Dog Operations Unit.

Today’s graduation formally recognises the commencement of the three police dogs that have been operational since 12 October. The dogs will undertake a variety of tasks including tracking suspects or missing people, area searching and article searching.

Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Vincent Tarzia said SAPOL’s newest recruits would undertake a variety of tasks on the beat.

“These well-trained dogs will sniff out suspects, search for missing people and use their senses to locate objects or explosives and firearms,” Minister Tarzia said.

Senior Sergeant Kurt Newcombe, Operations Manager, Dog Operations Unit said, “The expectations that we set for our police dogs are very high and I have great confidence in these three new additions to the Dog Operations Unit. They will further enhance our capabilities in specialist policing and we welcome them to the SAPOL team”.

Image above: PD Orbit

Image above: PD Rusty

Image above: PD Judge

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