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New dog teams ready to go following graduation at Trentham

"New dog teams ready to go following graduation at Trentham"

NZ Police now has five new qualified canine recruits, following this afternoon’s ceremony at the NZ Police Dog Training Centre.

Graduating as operational teams under sunny skies at Trentham, after months of hard work, were:

- Sergeant Max Speeding and Icon, based in New Plymouth.

Sergeant Spedding has been a dog handler for 17 years, and heads the Taranaki dog section.

Icon is his sixth dog.

- Senior Constable Jason Page and Hitch, Whanganui.

Hitch is Senior Constable Page’s fourth operational dog.

Senior Constable Page has previously featured regularly in TV’s Dog Squad with his fourth operational dog, E-Ace.

- Senior Constable Grant Cooper and Nua, Palmerston North.

Nua is Senior Constable Cooper’s fourth dog, after Grizz died unexpectedly in August last year.

- Constable Cam Gunn and Ezro, Hawke’s Bay.

Constable Gunn became a trainee dog handler in 2012 in Wellington, graduating with Cato in March 2013.

In December 2013 he transferred to Hawke’s Bay with Zyger.

With the looming retirement of Constable Gunn’s current dog Chuck, Ezro will step into the fold.

- New to the dog section is Constable Kurt Stephenson and Mint, of Christchurch.

Mint is the second dog of Constable Stephenson's to have begun training, but his first to have graduated.

He has previously fostered two police puppies.

“It’s been a long road to get here, it’s been 40 hours a week, but we’re now looking forward to a week or so off to rest, before we get into it,” Constable Stephenson says.

He has been in Police for six years, and gave up a scholarship to study viticulture to join Police.

Also graduating today were five AVSEC dog teams.

The AVSEC officers and their explosive detector dogs will be working at Queenstown, Auckland and Wellington airports.

Police Deputy Chief Executive: People, Kaye Ryan, spoke to those assembled of the important bond between handler and dog, and the important work the new dog teams would be doing to keep our people, communities, and airports safe.


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