Don’t mess with the dog squad: Senior Constable Ben Johnson with Dana and Sergeant Ian Grigoris with Mavro.
Don’t mess with the dog squad: Senior Constable Ben Johnson with Dana and Sergeant Ian Grigoris with Mavro. Alistair Brightman

Dog squad gets results

WHETHER they’re hunting a home intruder, catching a car thief or stopping a siege, the police dog squad is helping to drive down local crime.

Since Sergeant Ian Grigoris and Senior Constable Ben Johnson took up their positions in July, 51 people have been tracked down as a result of their actions.

They regularly arrest offenders who have fled crime scenes and car accidents and those who think they can use the cover of darkness to hide.

But the real stars of the show are German shepherds Mavro and Dana, who, by picking up on a scent left at a crime scene, can follow the exact path taken by an offender.

“They do things that really impress us sometimes,” Sgt Grigoris said.

“I used to try and predict what the dog was going to do and take him where I thought he would go, but now I just trust him.

“They have a very good success rate.”

The dogs have become family for Sgt Grigoris and Snr Const. Johnson, whose work doesn’t stop when they clock off.

“The dog is assigned to us, lives with us 24-7 and is a member of the family,” Sgt Grigoris said.

“It’s so they are more protective of us,” Snr Const Johnson added.

The dogs undergo a strict training program, so people should never try to outrun them or pick fights with their handlers.

It’s not even wise to pat them, Sgt Grigoris says.

That being said, he doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea about his beloved Mavro, who has been in his family for the past seven years.

“They won’t bite without a command but we just don’t want to confuse them,” he said.

Four-year-old Dana recently attacked someone when Snr Const. Johnson was assaulted.

“At the end of the day, they will bite if they have to,” he said.

Operations Inspector Daryl Powell said the both officers and their dogs were valuable members of the policing team.

“They are a very active and productive asset and in the short time that they have been working here, have contributed to the apprehension of a number of offenders,” he said.



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