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Nick And Ben: a Sniffing Success

Nick And Ben: a Sniffing Success

Nick Rongokea and Ben

Manawatu Prison Dog Handler Nick Rongokea and his springer spaniel Ben are one of two teams representing Corrections at the National Police Dog Championships in Trentham next week.

The duo recently claimed the top spot in the Department of Corrections’ detection dog trials which puts handlers and their dogs through all aspects of their work including searching people, cars, buildings and outside areas for drugs.

The top two teams from Corrections go though to the national champs, where they compete against the best Police and Customs dog teams in the narcotic detection section.

Corrections’ National Manager Detector Dog Services John Gallagher said the Department’s top two handlers and their dogs were identified after a rigorous round of trials.

“Last week we put our 15 detection dog teams through their paces, testing them in many challenging situations.

“Corrections dogs are trained to recognise and seek out even the smallest quantities of various drugs and other contraband items to stop them entering our prisons.

“This gives a high level of assurance to the public in our commitment to keeping our prisons safe and free of contraband,” he said.

Nick and Ben are based at Manawatu Prison and also travel to Whanganui Prison, Hawkes Bay Regional Prison and Waikeria Prison to support the detection dog teams at those prisons.
The dogs inspect prisoner property and cells as well as searching visitors, their vehicles, and property posted or couriered into New Zealand’s prisons.

Nick and Ben will represent the Department alongside 2nd place getters Hamilton-based John Sharpe and his german shepherd Aysa.

The National Police Dog Championships will be held at Trentham from 19 – 21 May.


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