POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 27 PANS in the community given us an incredible amount of service over the years. When I became chief, I made Creig an auxiliary sergeant in recognition of his commitment and exemplary service.” Collyer said when a suspect flees a crime scene, their flight often takes them over, under and through things that people normally wouldn’t go through. “Once Creig decides he can’t do this any longer, we would need to find an alternative, so we are starting the replacement process now,” he said. “The quicker we can get a dog onto a suspect’s scent, the better our chances of making an arrest,” said Collyer. “It cuts down on investigative time. Even if you don’t catch the culprit right away, you can probably recover the stolen property for the owner.” Collyer said a dog would pay for itself with the first successful search incident. “We have an aging population, some suffering with dementia, and increasingly we are getting calls about seniors and children with special needs going missing. A trained dog is a valuable tool to help us find them.” The selection of an appropriate dog handler is expected to take a month or two. The commitment to a K-9 team is significant, as the dog will live with the handler and his or her family. The normal service life of a police dog is seven or eight years before it is retired. Inspector Rob Hearn of the Truro Police Service is a former K-9 handler who has advised the BPS. “Once the Bridgewater K-9 program is established, and the dog is purchased and trained, the ongoing cost is minimal, about $1,100 annually,” said Hearn. “The BPS is purchasing the pedigree, a proven bloodline. You want a confident dog, 10 months to a year old, that has had very little training before it reaches the handler. If you have a motivated canine and a handler willing to follow the dog where it leads, you’ll have a successful team,” he said. Hearn said police services look for a dog that can be trained to track at various levels. Level one is in the country, where the only human scent will be the bad guy. Level two is in an industrial park area, where there might be some people walking around. Level three is in the downtown area, where there would be the most distractions, such as lots of pedestrians and vehicles. “I remember one time during Canada Day we had a robbery here in Truro. We didn’t find the person, but we found a mask and gloves. DNA extracted from those items led us to the person,” said Hearn. “When I was a K-9 handler I used to respond with my dog within minutes, even when off duty. Bridgewater will find having its own dog will be a tremendous community resource,” he said. Collyer said he is confident the people of Bridgewater will respond favourably to the BPS fundraising efforts. “If we raise the money, we plan to purchase and train the dog, then give it a police badge at its graduation. We also want to give schoolchildren a chance to name the dog.” There are different levels of sponsorships and benefits available to contributors. It is expected the most-generous contributor will be offered an opportunity to be a BPS K-9 handler for a day. Davis, a German shepherd, is Bridgewater Police Services’ new police dog. continued... The Amherst Police Department raises money each year to support an anonymous family selected by Autumn House at Christmas time. Christmas 2015 was such a success that APD was also able to support five other Amherst youths. Left to right: Cst Michelle Harrison and her son Jackson, Chief Ian Naylor, Sgt Brian Gairns, April Wilson-Dares of Autumn House, Natasha Galloway (Restorative Justice), Staff Sgt Scott White, Cst Randy Babineau, Cst Tasha Estabrooks