After three days of tough competition at the National Police Patrol and Detector Dog Championships the country’s top dogs and handlers have been crowned.
Police dogs and their handlers won two titles and came second in the narcotic detector dog section.
Four-year-old police dog Oza and handler Constable Craig Moore from Christchurch are this year’s national Police Patrol dog champions and the winners of the Frank Riley Cup.
The pair also won the William Rose Bowl for criminal work disciplines.
Constable Craig Moore says it was a close competition and the victory hasn’t sunk in yet.
“To win has been a goal of mine ever since I joined the Dog Section, and I’m ecstatic.”
“Oza enjoys his job, he’s high spirited and looks after me.”
Second place went to senior constable Owen Davies and Quid from Auckland, and senior constable Andrew Knox and Ra from Hawke’s Bay came third.
National coordinator police dogs inspector Todd Southall says the standard across all the championship categories was very high.
“It’s great to see the high calibre of all the championship finalists. They’ve worked extremely hard to get here and to win a title is pretty special. It reflects the work they do day and night keeping our communities and borders safe.”
The top three police patrol dogs all scored over 1000 points which is an outstanding achievement, with only seven points separating the top two dogs and handlers.
Police dog Kea and handler senior constable Ross Clarke from Auckland won the Explosive Detector Dog competition and the AVSEC Shield, Senior Constable Hamish Todd and Ezak from Wellington were the runners up.
The Narcotic Detector Dog title was taken out by Auckland based Corrections Officer KT Thomas and Jesse with Wellington’s Senior Constable Matt Fage and Tasman second.
The competition involved a range of activities to test the unique skills of dogs and their handlers and was held in Wellington and Wairarapa.
23 teams from New Zealand police, customs, corrections, aviation security and New Zealand Army competed in the three different categories.
Deputy commissioner Viv Rickard presented the prizes at the Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham this afternoon.