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08 Jun 2012
A member of Cheshire Police Authority has paid
tribute to "the enormous variety of work" done by police
dogs and their handlers.
Terry Savage said,
- Terry Savage, Cheshire Police Authority
Dogs and their handlers play a vital role in
policing, from making arrests and maintaining public order to
tracking missing people and tracing drugs and explosives.
The standards of training are impressive and,
in every case, the dog and handler are a real team. However good
the dog′s natural instincts are, only patient training and a really
good relationship between handler and dog brings the best
Mr Savage, one of four Police Authority members who carry out
routine welfare checks on Cheshire Police dogs, was speaking after
an awards ceremony for this year′s ‘Top Dogs′.
Best Overall Team:
PC Greg Cross and Hunter
Greg and Police dog Hunter are a consistently effective police
As an example: On 24th February 2012 Hunter and PC Cross tracked
three men who had crashed a stolen car after being involved in a
series of burglaries. They followed them through a housing estate
and across school grounds at Alsager. Eventually, the men crossed
the M6 motorway, followed by PC Cross and Hunter.
The dog chased the men through a water-filled tunnel and managed
to catch one of them. Another of them climbed a tree but was also
detained by Hunter, who then caught the third man after a chase
The men were charged with burglaries in Cheshire and
Best Specialist Dog Team:
PC Brett Mankee and Sasha
Brett and Police dog Sasha have been instrumental is recovering
thousands of pounds worth of drugs and ensuring that dealers are
brought to court.
For instance: On Friday 26th June 2011 the team were helping
Winsford Neighbourhood Policing Team in
an operation targeting the supply of class A drugs.
Officers had searched a car which was parked in the drive of a
house. It smelled strongly of cannabis but they were unable to find
any drugs. Sasha searched the vehicle and, despite the overwhelming
smell from the cannabis she indicated that something was hidden
under the gear stick sleeve. Cocaine, cannabis and scales were
PC Mankee and Sasha then searched the house and recovered a
large amount of cannabis resin, which had been well hidden. The
action of the team resulted in the prosecution of a group of people
for supplying Class A and Class B drugs.
Best Tracking Ability:
PC Mark Sheehan and Merlin
Mark and Merlin have consistently been successful in getting a
positive result when tracking skills were required.
As an example: The team were called to assist officers after a
fire-bombing incident in Warrington. Merlin tracked a man for
twenty minutes through gardens and woods and recovered several
items of clothing, including a jacket which smelled heavily of
petrol. The dog eventually went into a garden, walked straight to a
green wheelie bin and barked. PC Sheehan found the man hiding
inside the bin. Merlin then recovered several other pieces of
property which were vital to the prosecution of the offenders.
Best Performance for Individual Incident:
PC Garry Brownlow and Brit
PC Brownlow and Brit assisted in a search for a man who was
missing in the Warrngton area. By very skilful tracking they found
the man′s body quickly and broke the news to his relatives who were
also searching for him. By their effective action they were able to
prevent a great deal of added stress for the family at a very
Most Improved Team:
PC Ian Burndred and Ozzy
Over a period of eighteen months this team have shown consistent
improvement. They achieved an advanced grade rating, only six
months after passing the basic initial course. They have been
involved effectively in a number of incidents, including tracking
down a driver who had made off from his vehicle after refusing to
stop for police officers. After the man was arrested Ozzy located
the keys for the vehicle which had been hidden.