Milestone win at Police Patrol and Detector Dog Champs
Today has seen a historic result at the Police Patrol and Detector Dog National Championships, with women winning two of the three categories for the first time.
Northland Constable Elyse Lewis, with police dog Mist, won the Police Patrol category – the first time ever that a female officer has won the coveted prize.
national champion, Constable Lewis and Mist, who is five
years old, take home the Frank Riley Cup.
They were also awarded the Commissioner’s Challenger Cup for obedience and the Monaghan Trophy for heelwork.
Constable Lewis’ win comes after a second place result in the competition last year.
“This was the pinnacle of my career,” says Constable Lewis
“This has been
a goal of mine since becoming operational.
To come up against such experienced handlers and win is overwhelming, and a huge personal achievement for me.”
Senior Customs Officer Debbie Baldock, from Wellington, won the Detector Dog category, with her dog Ash.
“The championships have been a great experience,” says Debbie.
“The best part for me – apart from the win! – was the camaraderie between the competitors and the chance to get to know handlers from right across New Zealand.”
The Explosives Detector Category was won
by Senior Constable Hamish Todd and Ezak (known as Zak),
This is a second win in this category for Senior Constable Todd, who also won in 2011 with his former dog Cindy.
“I’ve competed several times, with varying levels of success,” says Senior Constable Todd.
“This is Zak’s first win after three competitions – he’s done us proud.”
Senior Constable Owen Davies and Quid, from Tamaki Makaurau, came second in the Police Patrol category; and Constable Cam Gunn and Ezro, from Hawke’s Bay, came third.
Second in the Narcotic Detector category were Senior Constable Chris Harris and Floyd, from Tamaki Makaurau; with Customs Officer Jodie Rye and Anika, from Auckland, in third place.
Sapper Sean O’Keeffe with Iris, from NZDF’s 2 Field Squadron, came second in the Explosive Detector category; and Lance Corporal Jeremy O’Shannessy with dog Max, from NZDF’s 2 Engineer Regiment was third.
Inspector Todd Southall, National Coordinator Police Dogs, says he was once again extremely impressed by the calibre of the teams competing.
“Every year the competition seems to
get better and better.
The teams work so hard to get here and compete at a national level - every single one of them should be very proud of their achievements.”
“And I do want to offer a special congratulations to
Constable Lewis and Mist, who came first in the Police
Constable Lewis’ win is not only very well-deserved, it represents a true milestone in the history of the NZ Police Dog Section, and sends a strong message to any women aspiring to become dog handlers that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and train hard.”
The prizes were presented by Assistant Commissioner Bruce Bird and other officials at the Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham this afternoon.