Cocker spaniel joins Northumbria Police as explosive detection dog

Northumbria Police

Something for the weekend: Northumbria Police has looked outside of the traditional recruitment agencies and job sites for its most recent recruits, instead hiring three puppies from dog re-homing and adoption charity Dogs Trust to start new careers as K9s.

The four-legged employees, who are based at Northumbria Police’s dog section in Newcastle, have taken on new learning and development opportunities, being trained in how to search for drugs, cash and weapons alongside their human colleagues.

While two of the puppies, Bracken and Minnie, are still undergoing training, two-year old cocker spaniel Alfie has qualified with flying colours; he has even completed a course which enables him to combat terrorism.

Alfie’s new job role as an explosive detection dog means he will be required to sniff out suspicious items ahead of major events and sports matches.

Although gaining new skills is a great advantage of any new job, the main benefit for the new starters is that accommodation, and a family, is included, as each K9 lives with their handler.

PC Paul Cooper, dog handler at Northumbria Police, said: “All of our police dogs live with their handlers, so it means that any dog abandoned and handed in to [Dogs Trust] will be going to a loving home if they join us here in Northumbria.

“Dogs [that] are boisterous and full of life can sometimes be tough for families who just want them as pets to manage and they end up handing them in to a charity like the Dogs Trust. But those type of dogs often make the best police dogs and do loads of work that helps take criminals off the street and keep our communities safe.

“A career in the police really could be a match made in heaven for some of these dogs. We love them all and we are so proud of each and every one of them.”

Sue Embleton, re-homing centre manager at Dogs Trust Darlington, added: “It is exceptionally rewarding when our canine residents go on to become part of loving families; even more so when a dog’s natural abilities can be utilised for such valuable causes in society.

“Cases such as this are a testament to the great working relationships Dogs Trust has with local authorities which ensure many dogs are given the chance to fulfil their potential as family pets; and in Bracken, Minnie and Alfie’s case, go on to potentially save lives as well.

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“We are honoured to support Northumbria Police in their pursuit of police dogs, as Dogs Trust residents who go into their care lead fantastic lives with their handlers.”

Here at Employee Benefits, we think this is a fantastic recruitment programme and it will certainly lead to some fresh talent for Northumbria Police. We are wondering whether Dogs Trust have any candidates with suitable journalistic skills in order to sniff out good stories…