Meeting Our Dogs

January 8th 2016 | PC Richie Vinen

Day 1:

I arrrived at Surrey Police Dog Training School after and eight hour ferry crossing and an hour drive from Portsmouth.

First stop was to book PD Achilles into the schools kennels and then I booked into my accommodation.

The course began at 1pm in the classroom with a welcome from the dog school manager John Best and course instructor Andy Haywood and the meeting of the other officers on the course PCs Hale, Green and Bristow, all of which were Surrey Police Dog Handlers.

We were then issued our harness and I was allocated Trainee Police Dog Meg, an 18-month-old Black and White English Springer Spaniel.

The other dogs on the course are TPD Trooper allocated to PC Hale, TPD Duke allocated to PC Bristow, TPD Scout allocated to PC Green and TPD Jack allocated to my fellow Jersey Police Dog Handler PC Dave Bisson who will be joining us for a reduced course at week 6, due to the fact he has been a drugs dog handler before.

The afternoon and evening were spent at Chertsey Mead School bonding and playing with our new dogs. They are all lovely little dogs which are all highly driven to work.

Day 2:

Early start at 6:30am to walk TPD Meg and Jack and to walk and fit in a bit of training with the very jealous and annoyed PD Achilles, who is currently having to take a back seat for the next six weeks (which is not at all happy about!)

The kennels were then cleaned and the van loaded and off back to Chertsey Mead to start the training in earnest.

Today was imprinting Amphetamine using the block method and then confirming by conducting a small off lead search in the old school hall. Near the end of the day we began with imprinting Cocaine on the dogs. This is all done in a tightly controlled way so the dogs are unable to get anywhere near the substances that are enclosed in fully sealed snap bags.

We ended the day with running the dogs along the blocks and making sure that the Cocaine scent was imprinted.

Back at the kennels and more walking of dogs and then feeding. Meg and Achilles given another walk before shutting them in for the evening.

Day 3:

We started the day by confirming Amphetamine and Cocaine scent is imprinted on the dogs using the concrete block method.

This was done by carrying out five minute searches off lead in a number of rooms upstairs in the school using three hides of the Amphetamine and Cocaine.

During the afternoon we carried out an outside route search for one small hide to show the dogs worked off lead and could be re-called and tasked to different areas when necessary. We also used these searches to begin developing our search technique.

Day 4:

Chertsey Mead School.

We began day with 10 minute search of a long corridor within the school with approx. 7 rooms to search along with the corridor and three hides of Cocaine and Amphetamine. This was also used to further develop our individual search techniques. TPD Meg and Jack were both excellent and located all hides successfully.

The afternoon was used to go back to the concrete blocks and imprint and confirm Heroin with all the dogs.

At the end of week one all the dogs are searching for and locating three substances which is a brilliant achievement and a credit to our instructor.

I am looking forward to week 2.


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