A milestone moment for four South Yorkshire police dogs should have criminals in Gibraltar barking mad as they are the first in 20 years to be assigned to the rock.
They have crossed the seas to form Royal Gibraltar Police’s (RGP’s) dog section.
South Yorkshire Police’s Dog Training Unit is one of only six Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) approved dog training schools within the UK and was chosen by RGP to reinstate their dog section, providing a challenging and strenuous 13- week training course for the dogs and for the officers, who had no previous dog handling experience.
SYP dog training instructor Mick Gentile, travelled to Gibraltar in May this year to deliver the course, which is the first training the unit has delivered to an international police force.
The four dogs provided to RGP from SYP, were Police Dog Prince (pictured in training) Police Dog Major, Police Dog Zulu and Police Dog Tara. All four dogs were bred at the Dog Support Unit as part of the accredited puppy breeding scheme established by Dog Training Manager Harry Morton back in 2008.
The 13-week course covered all the operational and supportive requirements of the police dog handler and the training provided the dogs with the skills required to provide specialist support for a myriad of situations, including searching for people and articles used in crimes, tracking and protection.
Police Dog Prince and PC Mark Penalver, Police Dog Zulu and PC Gerry Martinez and Police Dog Tara and PC Janssen Olivero, took part in their “Passing Out Parade” at the end of the course in July to mark the successful completion of their training.
Harry Morton said: “I am exceptionally pleased we have been able to work in partnership with Royal Gibraltar Police and provide them with a dog section unit after such a long period of time without one.
“Mick invested a great deal of time in selecting and preparing the dogs whilst in the UK, and even when faced with difficulties in Gibraltar, working the dogs in extreme heat, training novice handlers, he resolved all the unique challenges to ensure the success of the project.”