The Dog Section provides a 24 hour response in keeping our communities safe throughout Northern Ireland. The section consists of two Sergeants and thirty Constables, all of whom handle and patrol with at least one police dog.
Police Dog recruits begin their working life in the police when they are approximately 18 months old and usually continue until the age of eight. They are carefully selected based on their natural abilities and these traits are then developed and enhanced by continuous training and formal assessment, ensuring that they are safe and efficient in any operational environment.
The Dog Section will regularly deploy search teams to look for missing persons, conduct searches for drugs, firearms, cash and explosive substances. The General Purpose dogs will respond to calls for assistance ranging from the recovery of stolen property, from burglaries, tracking offenders and the containment of serious crime scenes.
It is common knowledge that dogs can follow a scent trail or identify a specific scent which is undetectable to humans. Even with the development of technology the Police Dog remains one the most valuable assets in modern day policing and carries out a range of duties that couldn’t be fulfilled in any other way.
Police use a variety of proven dog breeds for general patrol duties, those being German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd (Malinois) and Dutch Herder dogs.