Police have got their paws on a new buddy in the fight against drug crime who will be based at their headquarters in Arnold.
He’s only just 13-weeks-old but PD Buddy has well and truly been finding his feet with his new canine cop friends after he was welcomed to the force at the end of May.
The Labrador pup is at the very beginning of his policing career, where the aim is for him to master the skills to become a passive drugs dog.
Buddy has been funded by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry who agreed to pick up the £24,775 costs of PD Buddy’s training.
“There’s a very good reason we’re expanding our canine team – they’re absolutely brilliant at what they do,” said Commissioner Henry.
“I’ve no doubt Buddy will serve Nottinghamshire with every bit of passion and dedication as our officers and we cannot wait to see him develop and flourish.
“Passive drugs dogs are a huge asset to the force and are already disrupting the activities of organised criminals and helping to bring more offenders to justice.”
As part of this role, he will have the very important task of detecting a host of illegal substances. This means that, once qualified, he will be out across the county with his handler both responding to incidents and as part of proactive work ongoing by various local teams.
This includes pre-planned operations, such as patrols with Operation Guardian officers in the city centre where he’ll scan people, drugs warrants where he’ll need to search houses and gardens, as well as urgent callouts where he could be asked to search a variety of vehicles.
Sergeant Jay Lee of Nottinghamshire Police’s Dog Section said: “We’re really pleased to welcome Buddy to the team and we look forward to seeing him develop and hopefully become a really successful drugs dog.
“The dogs are such a valuable resource and in particular, the ability our drugs dogs have and the efficiency at which they can detect drugs is highly important to our success when it comes to tackling this issue.
“Adding dogs, such as Buddy, to our team and having the opportunity to have more of these dogs out across the county will only increase our effectiveness. It’s fantastic for us to have been given the green light to expand our resources with another drugs dog, and this should also be reassuring to communities across Nottinghamshire as this once again steps up our ability to respond and support neighbourhood teams with reports and concerns around drugs activity wherever this may come to our attention.”
Over the next few months, Buddy will be taking his new career one paw at a time, walking through towns and getting used to people.
Once he turns one, he will be enrolled on a six-week drugs dog course where he’ll be trained to detect a wide range of drugs, scan people and search a variety of different environments that he may be faced with once he is a fully-fledged police dog.
His current handler, PC James Sills, says he’s already showing some promising traits and is looking forward to seeing the Dog Section’s newest recruit progress.
“Buddy is super active and a massively sociable dog. He just seems really keen and interested in everything around him, which to us is a really positive trait when thinking about training a dog to detect drugs.
“We’re really pleased with how he’s doing so far. He’s with us for the moment to get used to various surroundings, people and to get out and about in busy city and town centres, all of which he’ll encounter on a regular basis once he passes his training.
“Then, in a few months’ time he’ll be off on a six-week training course and that will be the moment of truth. He is such a lovely dog, showing great traits, so I have every faith he’ll turn out to be a great drugs dog.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford added: “As a force, we are dedicated to tackling issues with drugs and related crimes.
“Not only is being in possession of certain drugs illegal, but it can also clearly be linked to wider criminal activity, so this is why our ability to proactively search for drugs and act on information we are given around this is incredibly important.
“Drug-related crime has fallen by 13 percent over the past year and this is testament to the proactive work of neighbourhood teams, Operation Reacher teams and supporting, specialist teams such as the Dog Section, and we are committed to seeing this trend continue.
“Passive drugs dogs are an invaluable asset, alerting officers to individuals who may have illegal drugs on them or areas where they may be hidden, doing this quickly and, more importantly, where it would be otherwise hard to detect.
“They are often involved in our successes when seizing drugs and so I’m delighted that we are able to add extra resource into our work tackling illegal drugs and to see the Dog Section bring Buddy on board, who will be learning the ropes to do just that.
“I wish Buddy, PC Sills and the team all the best for their future and I’ll be looking forward to hearing how he does in training, and indeed all being well his future successes out on the job.”