WHO LET THE DOGS OUT
A team of Police dogs and handlers of theDevonand Cornwall Police force have been working with helicopters from Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose that could prove valuable on operations across the South West.
Using the distinctive Red and Grey Sea Kings of 771 Naval Air Squadron, who provide the Royal Navy's Search and Rescue capability, three dogs were put through their paces during a series of training exercises.
"Today forms part of a regular training day - a familiarisation for dogs and handlers", said Sergeant Colin Harper, Dog Sergeant for Cornwall. "Working with the Helicopter is important should we have to deploy at short notice to anywhere in our region where vehicular access is limited. We are often asked to search for people across the moors of Devon and Cornwall and there is not always a road nearby."
The noise of the aircraft and its downdraught are something they have to get used to. In the course of their normal work they come across many varied and difference situations, but the helicopters are new and unusual to the pure bred German Shepherds.
Getting the canines used to the sights and sounds is only one side to their training day, getting them to work effectively after being flown around is another purpose of the exercise.
“The dogs get really quite excited and are constantly looking to their handlers; sometimes the handlers are just as excited”, continued Colin. “Rather than just get airborne and fly around, we conducted a little exercise to make the dogs and handlers think about what they would do in a real live situation, which involved me being the target.”