The Tri Force area has today gained three Tactical Firearms Support Dogs.
A presentation was held down in Clevedon for PC Simon Goodwin and Police Dog Fozzy from Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset-based PC Louise Grabham and PD Heidi, PC Ian Grant and PD Ace
Following a six week course, the dogs, who are all currently general purpose police dogs, now have the ability to work alongside armed response officers should they be required at in Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire.
PC Goodwin said: “It has been a long and challenging six weeks, but enjoyable. Firearms support dogs and their handlers are trained to work closely with armed officers in a tactical firearms situation. All the dogs that took part are proven general purpose police dogs.”
The dogs were trained by PC Mark Avery of Gloucestershire and were presented with their licences today by Superintendent Mark Sellers.
PC Goodwin added: “The six weeks of training concentrated on enhanced control at a distance, safe deployment and searching with firearms teams for armed subjects, as well as deployment from a helicopter. We now have the skills and training needed to work alongside our firearms colleagues to tackle the most dangerous, prolific people that could cause harm to the public.
“The hardest part of the course was encouraging Fozzy to work independently, more so that is required in his general purpose police dog role. He also loves working so much that it was sometimes difficult to keep him from barking his enjoyment – the role can demand a silent approach at times, but he understood by the end of the course! He also loved the helicopter almost as much as I did.”