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logoNew recruits for Cheshire police!

Cheshire Constabulary welcomed its newest recruits this week when Willis and Spike, two German Shepherd puppies, arrived for duty at its HQ in Winsford. At just eight and nine weeks old respectively, the pair, who will be trained as general purpose police dogs, were as playful as they were charming when they visited their future base for the first time.

Head of the Police Dog Training Unit, Sergeant Louise Deung, revealed that both puppies were selected for a life of Cheshire crime fighting only after first completing a number of specific puppy tests.

Willis & SpikeSergeant Deung said: "These are done for a number of reasons; to see if the puppies are afraid of loud noises, if they can learn to fetch and retrieve items quickly or if they are comfortable at heights and so on.

"We can then very quickly see which puppies are best suited to becoming police dogs."

Willis and Spike's selection did not come as a surprise however, as dog instructor PC Mike Jones acknowledged.

PC Jones said: "Willis' Dad is a police dog with Humberside Police, whilst Spike's currently serves with Greater Manchester."

Both puppies will live with qualified instructors for the next 12-14 months, before being given to a police dog handler where they will undergo a 13-week initial, play-based,training course to equip them with the skills they will need in order to serve as police dogs. This is regularly refreshed with training exercises that replicate real-life situations.

The dog section currently comprises 19 operational dog handlers. They are trained police officers with a passion for working with dogs. Each handler has their own general purpose dog, which is a German Shepherd.

General purpose dogs undertake a 13-week initial training course to equip them with the skills they will need in order to serve as police dogs. This is regularly refreshed with training exercises that replicate real-life situations.

Their main jobs are:

  • Searching for people, including criminals and missing people.
  • Providing a reassuring presence at public events, such as football matches.
  • Tracking people using scents from the scenes of crime.
  • Chasing fleeing criminals

There are also nine drugs detection dogs. When looking for potential drugs dogs, we try to find spaniels, Labradors or collies with a playful nature. Dogs that enjoy chasing and playing with a ball are best suited to life as a drugs dog. After initially being trained to find their ball, the dog will go on a six-week course with its handler to learn how to detect different types of drugs.

JANE THIRSK
Watch Officer
Cheshire Police

Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Team 0845 458 6371
Police non-emergency number: 101


Other Homewatch pages of current relevance: Local crimes in the Macclesfield Division including Bollington, Kerridge and Pott Shrigley.

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