BASSETERRE — Children from four schools in the Village and McKnight areas were treated to a police dog demonstration led by the Federation’s own top dog “Prego”.
The demonstration, which was held on the Patsy Allers Playing Field on Monday, March 11, was jointly organised by the K-9 Unit and the National Intervention Team which comprises Police Officers. Present were scores of students from the Antioch Baptist Academy, Dr. William Connor Primary, McKnight Day Care Centre and the Cotton Thomas School.
Accompanied by his handler, Officer Julius Wyatt, the demonstration included how Prego, a German Shephard, sniffs out firearms and how he helps to apprehend suspects on the run. Officer Wyatt has been a member of the K-9 Unit for the past 10 years, a posting which he says he enjoys. He added that he and Prego have had several significant finds over the years.
“Prego and I have been partners for like eight years, and it is important to show the kids how the K-9 operates, because a lot of them like to see these things and a lot of them want to see what the dog can do. And it is part of my job to make sure I touch base with the kids to show them from time to time this section, the K-9 Unit,” Officer Wyatt said.
Building an appreciation for the work of the animals is important as police dogs help Officers do their jobs safer, faster and can even save their lives. According to the American Kennel Club, just as human law enforcement officers need to be a special type of person, police dogs must be a special type of dog. “These impressive animals come from generations of dogs specifically bred to perform the complicated tasks that police dogs are required to accomplish. Generally speaking, this isn’t something all dogs are able to do, and that’s why we usually see just a few specific breeds being trained as police dogs” their website stated.
The website also states that such breeds are known for their incredible working ability, their desire to cooperate with their handlers, and, in some cases, their tenacity in fighting criminals. It adds that police dogs can either have one task they perform or can be dual-purpose, meaning they are trained to perform a variety of tasks.