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Auckland Police has announced that three new dog handlers have graduated based in the Auckland region. The new handlers and their dogs graduated on Friday at a ceremony at Ellerslie racecourse, after months of intensive training.
The three dog teams are Senior Constable Karl Pennington and his dog Iton, Constable Stu Clarke and dog Tarr, and Constable James Napier with two and a half-year-old dog Jessie.
Senior Constable Karl Pennington, who joined up and worked with the police force since 1966 has been working for the New Zealand Police for over twenty years. He first joined the police Dog Section in 2006, with Iton being his fourth operational police dog.
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“We’re excited to get out on the streets and make a difference,” said Senior Constable Karl Pennington.
Meanwhile, as a first time for who is graduating for the first time as a Police Dog Handler — will also be part of the dog team, he has been working in the Counties Manukau region since he joined the police force in 2013, also fostering several Police dogs before getting Jessie.
“It’s been a long time coming, and there’s been a lot of work involved, so I’m very proud of my girl, she’s done well,” said Constable James Napier.
Stu Clarke, who also is a Constable has been working with the Dog Section since 2018. Clarke worked for the Public Safety Team in Papakura and various other roles within Police before joining this new role.
Three-year-old Police Dog Tarr was gifted to Police in 2019. Tarr and Constable Clarke have been attached and close to each other since.
The National Coordinator of Police Dogs Inspector Todd Southall, says the Friday graduation was a proud day for the handlers and those who have supported them.
“The handlers have worked so incredibly hard to achieve their operational qualification, and it’s a great achievement.”
Image courtesy: New Zealand Police