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POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 59 TRURO - He's been an integral part of Truro police's investigative team helping putting criminals behind bars. But after five years on the beat, Will has decided to hang up his badge. "One thing about Will is he was always motivated," said Rob Hearn, the canine unit handler. Hearn and the German shepherd have been together for about five years helping track criminals, locate missing people and find evidence for investigations. "He's a very affectionate dog and the bond started to develop pretty quickly," Hearn said. The handler remembers one case in Cape Breton a few years back where Will helped convince a man with a violent criminal record to surrender. As Hearn prepared to harness Will up in preparations to track the man, a whistle was heard coming from about a kilometre into the woods. The suspect had heard Will barking and decided to give up saying, "just keep the dog away from me." The unit did more than 130 calls annually but it was time for Will, the force's second canine, to retire because of age. Const. Jim Moody has taken over ownership of Will. "I love dogs and German shepherds because they are so smart," he said. Hearn, who has taken over as the sergeant in charge of the force's criminal intelligence division, said he enjoyed time in the canine section and he has a bond that will never be broken with Will. "It's quite an experience to be a canine handler." New Glasgow and RCMP canine units are covering Truro until a new handler and dog are appointed. jmalloy@trurodaily.com JASON MALLOY COLCHESTER COUNTY, JAN. 15, 2007 Dog-gone good Both articles as originally published TRURO - Two Truro police officers are training pups for a future career with forces across the country. Seiger and his sister Silken are eight-week-old German shepherds who arrived in Nova Scotia Thursday from RCMP kennels in Innisfail, Alta. for a year of development training called imprinting. The pups are bred and raised specifically as police dogs. Constables Jason Yhard and Elliott Hebb are the first two officers from a municipal police force in Canada to take the pups for imprinting. From this time forward we will start to develop them as potential police dogs, said Sgt. Rob Hearn, Truro’s former canine handler, who help co-ordinate the program. It’s a benefit for us because it widens our availability of canine handlers within our department and gives them an opportunity to see what is involved. Sgt. Marcel Guilbault, RCMP police service dog section, said the dogs will be taught the basics so they are well-rounded by the time they get to the training stage. It works on being around people and in different environments like malls and airports. We work on his socialization. He’s got to be level-headed, he said. After the imprinting period the dogs go back to Alberta and are assigned to a handler for an 85-day training program and could end up anywhere in the country. It’s going to be hard, Hebb said, but I know she's going to a good spot. jmalloy@trurodaily.com

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