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Tight contest in Australasian Police Dog Championships

South Australia has won this year’s individual patrol dog championship and Victoria Police the patrol team trophy, taking the title from New Zealand’s ‘paw blacks’ in the Australasian Police Dog Championships which wrapped up in Wellington tonight.

New Zealand Police’s Senior Constable Chris Harris and Floyd from Auckland Police won the narcotic detector dog title, adding to their New Zealand Police title won in September.

Senior Constable Shaun Hardwick and Nero from the Australian Federal Police won the explosives detector title.

Patrol dog honours however went to South Australia’s Senior Constable Craig Charles and Ruger who delivered a polished performance over four days of intense competition, edging out Leading Senior Constable Heath Drew and Ike from Victoria Police.

New Zealand’s Senior Constable Mark Chapman and Mario and Constable Elyse Lewis and Mist finished third and fourth respectively in the individual patrol dog championship, followed by Leading Senior Constable Michelle Dench with Archer, Victoria Police, and Senior Constable Michael Humphreys with Magnum, New South Wales.

But it was the combined points of Victoria Police’s Michelle Dench with Archer and Heath Drew with Ike which won them the patrol team trophy, just 15 points clear of runners-up Mark Chapman and Elyse Lewis.
Senior Constable Hamish Todd and E-Zak from Wellington Police were second in the explosives detector category, followed by Leading Senior Constable Justin Mickan and Ink from New South Wales and Leading Senior Constable Kath Koop and Puma from Victoria.

In the narcotics detector category, Senior Constable First Class Robert Poole and Kira from South Australia were runners up, followed by Senior Constable David Kotek and Rufus from New South Wales, Senior Constable Mathew Blow and Leo from the Australian Federal Police and Leading Senior Constable Peter Wilson and Flame from Victoria Police.

Fifteen handlers and dogs from New Zealand, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Federal Police have been taking part in the event, the first time it has been held at Trentham for 20 years.

Inspector Todd Southall, NZ Police national coordinator: police dogs, said the standard of competition was extremely high across all categories.

“This is really encouraging for the development of dog sections in New Zealand and Australia and I congratulate the winning teams and all the competitors and officials who have supported the event. It’s been a fantastic week.
“There’s a lot of pride at stake whenever the championship is held,” he said. “It’s a great way to benchmark ourselves against one another, to see how each of our jurisdictions operate, build partnerships and have some keen rivalry at the same time.”

All of the exercise scenarios which tested the canine teams this week were based on the skills and decision making they need in their operational roles.


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