After an arduous selection and training process, Police Constables Lewis Marshall and Lee Huffer and have now been accredited as fully qualified police handlers.
After a brief settling in period, the pair, together with their German Shepherds Drax and Chase, will be on patrol across the county – hunting down criminals, finding missing people and recovering stolen property.
PC Marshall, a former firearms officer, is following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a police dog handler.
Speaking after accepting his formal accreditation certificate, he said: “This is a really proud day for me. My dad was a dog handler and I grew up around dogs, so I always wanted to do the job one day.
“It’s been really hard work over the last few months and a lot of effort has gone in to getting me and Drax where we are now.
“He is still a young dog and still learning so we have really had to work hard to get to the point where we are capable of doing the job.
“As a handler you have to have complete confidence in your dog because you will be attending many jobs alone and will have to rely on him – on his nose and his senses – to keep you safe. I am over the moon to have got this far and looking forward to doing the job.”
Dog handlers have to come through an arduous selection and interview process before they go forward to a formal 13-week training course.
They must also be experienced police officers trained in advanced driving and Taser use.
PC Huffer, a former member of the knife crime team, was already Taser trained but has also had to come through an advanced driving course to qualify.
He said: “I have been a police officer for 21 years and this has always been my dream job. I have really spent the last five years working towards this, so I am incredibly proud to have completed the course.
“Chase is a great dog with a lot of experience, and I am really pleased with what I have achieved and also what we has achieved. I am also excited about what we can achieve together when we are out on patrol. My goal is to keep people in Nottinghamshire safe and Chase is now here to help me do that.”
Chief Inspector Simon Allardice, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “The role of a dog officer is very much in demand and the selection process is very competitive.
“Dog handlers and our police dogs work as a team to keep the public safe by arresting and tracking down dangerous suspects, finding evidence and missing people, and supporting public order and firearms policing.
“All of our dog handlers do a fantastic job and in many circumstances, police dogs can make a crucial difference to deliver results that would be impossible without them.
“These two officers have put in a huge amount of work over the past few months, and I am delighted to officially welcome them to the dog section.”