Police dog handlers win awards
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Five of our police dog handlers have received accolades for their outstanding work.
The National Service Dog Bravery and Achievement Awards were presented by Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Jennifer Tolhurst, at a ceremony at Ingatestone Hall on Saturday 28 August.
The awards handed out to members of our Dog Section were:
Outstanding Achievement: PC Jim Beaird developed an innovative training technique for explosive detection dogs to respond to laser targeting which means they can search areas quicker than just by their nose alone.
Outstanding Achievement: PC Gary Lambert is another one of our trainers and trained Essex’s first forensic recovery dog. These specialist dogs are especially helpful to investigators looking to find people who have died.
Outstanding Achievement and Dedication to Duty: Sgt Paul Screech, who has been a dog handler for 16 years, was commended for his work to expand the number of specialist dogs in the unit and for ensuring the highest standards of welfare to keep them fit and healthy. He was also honoured for helping other trainers to widen their knowledge and skills.
Bravery: Sgt Jamie Edwards and PD Diesel were carrying out searches for the suspects in two knife point robberies in Benfleet in December 2018. When Sgt Edwards saw a third robbery in progress, he and PD Diesel jumped out of their vehicle and confronted them. One of the suspects ran off and was detained by PD Diesel.
Outstanding Achievement: PC Andy Gaw trained our already smart search and general purpose dogs to sniff out drugs, increasing the unit’s capability to help with drugs investigations. He also sourced another clever canine to be Essex Police’s first Digital Detection Dog.
An Outstanding Achievement Award was also handed to Linda Belgrove and Frank Belgrove from the Essex Retired Police Dog Fund for their work to promote the welfare of retired police dogs.
Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills, who is also the National Police Chiefs Council Lead for Police Dogs and represented Essex Police at the awards, said: “We are immensely proud of our Dog Section and it was a real honour to see their hard work recognised at the National Service Dog Bravery and Achievement Awards.
“They achieve outstanding results every day to help catch criminals, which is testament to the innovation and commitment of our dog handlers and trainers – and, of course, our fantastic police dogs.”