Christchurch shooting victim Senior Constable Bruce Lamb is now back on duty with his newly qualified narcotics dog Mylo.
The 20 month old black Labrador is the new canine partner for Senior Constable Lamb who was shot and injured and his dog Gage killed when officers were called to a house in Phillipstown, Christchurch, last July. Senior Constable Lamb and his colleague Constable Mitch Alatalo were both wounded and Gage shot and killed in the incident.
Gage was the 23rd police dog to be slain on duty.
Today is a special one for Police, Corrections and Customs dog handlers with the graduation of 8 new narcotics and explosives dogs to graduate from the Police Dog Training Centre at Trentham. Among them are Senior Constable Lamb and Mylo and Senior Constable Philip Taylor, Rotorua, and Murphy.
They are joined by a Corrections officer and his narcotics dog, and five Customs officers with three narcotics and two explosives dogs.
The Minister of Police, Hon Judith Collins, will be attending today’s graduation along with representatives from the other departments.
Inspector Brendon Gibson, national coordinator of police dogs, said all eight handlers and their dogs demonstrated a huge amount of commitment to pass the nine week course and will be welcome additions to other operational teams around the country.
Gage’s death generated huge public support for the work of police dogs and an appeal initiated by The Press newspaper and others resulted in more than $20,000 being donated to the New Zealand Police Dog Charitable Trust. This money is being used to import genetic material from North America and Europe to advance the police dog breeding programme in New Zealand.