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Honours awarded to 11 retired Essex Police dogs at prestigious event

PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 October 2018

Police dog Shifty who has won an award from Essex Police. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Police dog Shifty who has won an award from Essex Police. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

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Eleven retired police dogs have been honoured with a series of medals at a special presentation event.

Police dog Katy who has won an award from Essex Police. Picture: ESSEX POLICEPolice dog Katy who has won an award from Essex Police. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Five of the animals were awarded posthumously including German Shepards Alfie, Santee, Major and Trojan, and Bloodhound Sherlock, at an event held at Essex Police headquarters in Chelmsford, on Sunday, October 14.

The retired police dogs, their owners and previous dog handlers were invited to receive medals for their bravery, dedication and time spent protecting the streets of Essex.

It included Labrador Katy who served from 2006 until retiring in June this year and was paired up with her handler PC Tony Mayo to become a passive drugs dog; German Shepard Rapha who served from 2012 until 2017 and was a general purpose and tactical firearms dog and also became the youngest dog to win the Essex Force Trials; and Springer Spaniel Shifty who served from 2008 until 2018 and was a drugs, cash and weapon recovery dog spending nine years serving with his former handlers Sgt Russ Abbott, PC Gary Lambert and PC Andy Kemp and included finding a car door that had £45,000 concealed inside and two handguns hidden in a safe.

The special ceremony was attended by Assistant Chief Constable Pippa Mills; retired dog handler and ceremony organiser Paul Nicholls; Dog Section Inspector Brad Dickel; Lord Lieutenant John Petre; Lady Rosemary Ruggles-Brise, a patron of the Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund; and family and friends of the Dog Section.

Police dog Rapha who has won an award from Essex Police. Picture: ESSEX POLICEPolice dog Rapha who has won an award from Essex Police. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

The ceremony is the fifth one held by the force to honour hardworking police dogs and the only ceremony of its kind in the country.

Each retired police dog received a medal, funded by one of the dog’s owners, Rachel and Paul Galpin, engraved with their service history and presented to them by Lord Petre, Lady Ruggles-Brise, and Assistant Chief Constable Mills whio said: “I’m delighted to be here supporting this important ceremony for the second year running. I’m proud of our Dog Section and everything they do to help protect the county, so it’s only right and proper that we award our retired police dogs for their part in helping to keep our communities safe.”

Mr Nicholls added: “As a former dog handler I feel honoured to be able to award our retired police dogs for their service and for some of them, having paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

He has been awarding retired police dogs with medals for more than two years. In June 2016 he was keen to recognise their work and introduced the prestigious medals to honour them.

Including today’s ceremony, a total of 57 medals have been awarded to Essex retired police dogs, six of these having lost their lives on duty protecting their handlers in difficult and dangerous situations.

The other dogs to get awards were German Shepards Dino, Tia and Studs.

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