A force is cutting its dog section in order to allow officers to return to other roles. Northumbria Police says as well as a reduction in the number of dogs, a number of dog handlers will be re-deployed back into other “important” policing roles.“It is believed these changes will make the force more efficient and will lead to a more visible policing presence in our local communities,” a spokesman said.“A number of police dogs will be retired as a result of the changes and found an appropriate and loving home.
The welfare of the animals will be of the utmost importance to the force during this process.” The force did not say how many dogs the unit would be left with but said the changes will result in a redistribution of dog-handlers across the force area.In the future, each handler will be responsible for both a general purpose and specialist dog, meaning some will see an increase of dogs under their care “but will ensure resources are still readily available to support front-line policing”.
The unit is currently made up of sergeants and PCs with the dogs mainly German Shepherds and a few Belgian Malinois and Dutch Herders. A number of forces have slashed the number of police dogs in order to save money while others – such as Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset – have merged their units.
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