Delhi Police get 30 new Labradors

The friendly Labrador, with its tongue sticking out and tail wagging, maybe a dog lover’s favourite. But, when on duty, you may want to stay away from them.

Welcome the 30 new Labrador Retrievers inducted into the Delhi Police on Monday to overcome the massive shortage in the city’s dog squad.

The 30 new canines — each around 18 months old — were procured for around Rs 1.7 lakh each from the Indian Army around a fortnight ago, said Taj Hassan, chief spokesperson of the Delhi Police.

Not long ago in 2010, the strength of the squad was 108. The numbers had dipped to a meagre 30 until the police decided to double the number recently.

Twenty of these new inductees are trained in sniffing out explosives whereas the rest are known as ‘trackers’ and are used for gathering evidences. Overall, 45 of the 60 dogs will now serve to detect explosives even as the dog squad continues to lack a single canine for detecting narcotics.

On Monday, the new canines were paraded before the Delhi Police chief Alok Kumar Verma and Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung. The animals took commands from their trainers, rolling, ‘saluting’ and jumping over hurdles when ordered.

However, the dogs appeared to lack complete coordination. Their handlers explained that until now these dogs have been trained by their masters in the Indian Army to follow only certain basic commands.

“We have taken over now and will provide them the advanced training. But they join duty from tomorrow (Tuesday) itself,” said Dharamvir, a senior handler.

Once trained, these dogs perform a variety of important tasks in maintaining the city’s security. Apart from sniffing out explosives, they are used for security of VVIPs, Trade Fairs, busy markets, important establishments, and celebration of the Republic Day and Independence Day functions.

In addition, smaller squads of these dogs are deployed everyday at Supreme Court, High Court, the Parliament House, other high-security establishments and in the Samjhauta Express train between India and Pakistan.

“The new inductees will be deployed across the city’s 11 police districts, depending on the need,” said Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police’s PRO.

While the metro stations, airports and railway stations in the city have dogs belonging to either the CISF or the RPF on service, even the Delhi Police canines are pressed into service depending on the emergency.

The dog squad in Delhi had been formed in 2010 with the induction of 10 dogs.

Of the 60 dogs in the police’s squad now, 56 are Labradors, three are Cocker Spaniels and one is a German Shepherd.

The police say that Labradors are the most sought-after because not only can they adjust relatively easily to Delhi’s hot weather, but are also easier to train.

On Monday, the new canines were paraded before Delhi Police chief Alok Kumar Verma and L-G Najeeb Jung

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 7:28:49 AM |

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