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Newest deployment of B.C. police dogs already sniffing out crime

7 teams from police dog school in Alberta helped Mounties nab suspects last week

The largest deployment of police dog graduates in the Lower Mainland hit the streets last week – and the dogs are already helping Mounties “get their man.”

The seven new teams were introduced to media outside RCMP Headquarters in Surrey on Tuesday (Sept. 27).

“Having seven Police Service Dog teams arrive in the Lower Mainland is one of the most significant deployments in recent years,” says Staff Sgt. Derek King. “These teams will improve our ability to respond to calls requiring a police dog and greatly increase the level of service provided to the public.”

All seven teams graduated from the police dog school in Innisfail, Alta., the same one that every RCMP dog in Canada has attended.

The teams are assigned to work in communities throughout the Lower Mainland. From Chilliwack to West Vancouver. They are a part of the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service, which partners with all RCMP detachments and municipal departments in New Westminster, Delta, West Vancouver, Port Moody and Abbotsford.

This partnership means a police dog team based in New Westminster can respond to a call anywhere in the Lower Mainland. There are currently 38 working police dogs.

Last week, the new graduates hit the streets in the Lower Mainland and RCMP say they already helped capture “multiple suspects.”

Const. Ross Findlay, the police dog service media relations officer, said the dogs have had “an immediate impact and have significantly increased the level of service we provide to the public.”

Const. Britteny George, Ridge Meadows RCMP, with Porter at the BC RCMP headquarters in Surrey on Tuesday, Sept. 27. (Photo: Anna Burns)
Const. Britteny George, Ridge Meadows RCMP, with Porter at the BC RCMP headquarters in Surrey on Tuesday, Sept. 27. (Photo: Anna Burns)

Two of the new police dogs are related to the police dog, Jago, who was killed in 2021.

READ MORE: Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog, Jago, killed in line of duty

The RCMP has their own breeding program. They raise them from the day they are born until they retire. They only use German Shepherds. It can take the dogs and their handlers almost a decade for them to get to the point of graduating and becoming an official police dogs.

Not every dog that enters will graduate. Any dogs that do not pass will be re-homed as pets.

The police dogs will work for, on average, about seven or eight years, then often retire to live with their handlers.

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Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I cover health care, non-profits and social issues-related topics for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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