A police canine was honoured posthumously for his bravery this week.
On Thursday 22 June Deputy Chief Constable Chris Armitt received the medal from retired Essex Dog Handler Paul Nicholls, who founded the K9 Memorial Project which honours the brave and unsung canine heroes of policing.
He accepted the medal on behalf of Cheshire’s PD Pablo during a ceremony at the Policing Museum in Warrington.
He also unveiled the tribute to the determined Doberman Pinscher, which illustrates the violent, armed struggle in Macclesfield in 1963 which Pablo endured alongside handler Stan Smith, who is sadly no longer with us.
During the presentation it was announced that an 11-week-old Sprocker puppy currently in training with the Alliance has been named Pablo in honour of the brave dog, and the name Pablo will carry on as a tradition from now on onwards.
Staff officer PC Sophie Davies, DCC Chris Armitt, Alliance dog handler PC Mark Rendell and Bandit, Northern Superintendent Adam Ross and Warrington Chief Inspector Neil Drum.
Retired officer and museum volunteer, Will Brown, has been researching and writing historical articles for the federation’s Cheshire Beat over the last four years, and Pablo’s tragic story was one which came to his attention.
“A few months ago I picked up a request on the Police History Society Facebook page (the Museum is a member of the Society) for any information about a Cheshire Police Dog, Pablo, who had died in service. I was aware of the full circumstances of the incident and I had written an article about it which was published in Cheshire Beat.
“Recounting his brave story caught our imagination and we decided we wanted to keep his memory alive with a display at the museum. We had the added bonus of a medal being awarded by the K9 Memorial Trust.
“Sadly we couldn’t trace Stan’s surviving family, but we still wanted to honour Pablo just like the officers who had been alongside him all those years ago.”
After the presentation Deputy Chief Constable Chris Armitt met with the museum volunteers, PC Mark Rendell from the Alliance and his dog, two-year-old PD Bandit, a licensed drugs/cash and firearm detection dog. They were also joined by retired officer, former Detective Superintendent Eddie Benbow who remembers Pablo and his exploits back in the day, and Northern Superintendent Adam Ross and Warrington Chief Inspector Neil Drum.
DCC Chris Armitt said:
“Pablo’s story struck a chord with the museum volunteers and the Constabulary, so it was thought a fitting tribute to have the canine remembered permanently at the museum.
“These dogs never fail to amaze me and the stories I’ve heard along the years of my career prove that they are integral to policing our communities and should be recognised for their fearless bravery when protecting officers and the public.”