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NEWS


PAW PATROL – MEET THE DOGS WHO WERE BORN TO POLICE


Julie Butterworth meets Astro and his handler PC Grace Feavyour who will be among the ofcers on duty this Christmas Day


L


eicestershire Police has had a successful first attempt at breeding its own police dogs with three of a


litter of five now working in the East Midlands region. Among them is Police Dog Astro who is pictured with handler PC Grace Feavyour alongside fellow Leicestershire training Police Dog Win and handler PC Dave Haines, a former Leicestershire Police Federation workplace representative. Grace, who has been a dog handler


for 18 months, explained: “Astro was born in February 2018 and was part of a litter of two dogs and three bitches. His brother Arlo is a licensed police dog in Lincolnshire and sister Akira is a licensed police dog in Derbyshire. “Their mum Orla was in training with a Nottinghamshire handler and would have been licensed but she injured her leg. While she made a full recovery that prevented her from becoming a police dog, so Leicestershire decided to breed with her. “She was mated with a dog with a good pedigree located by Leigh Emerson who was a Leicestershire Police dog handler for 25 years, came back as a


kennel assistant and then instigated the breeding programme. He is now a police staff trainer working for Derbyshire Constabulary.” Astro was with Dave from the age of


eight weeks and he trained him until he was ready to go on an initial course and then became Grace’s first dog. Grace has been with Leicestershire


Police since 2015 and followed in the footsteps of her father, Geoff, who retired as a Leicestershire Chief Superintendent five years ago having previously sworn in his daughter as Special Constable, and her mother, Angela, who is a serving detective with the Force and can retire next year. Dave, who has been with the dog section for eight years and joined the Force in 1996, also has a family history with the Force. His father, Noel, served 30 years with Leicestershire Police retiring as a sergeant in 1991.


“I have always loved animals and


didn’t join the police to become a dog handler but feel so lucky to be able to work with dogs and do the job that I do,” says Grace who, with Astro, will be working a day shift on Christmas Day, “But, even though I am working a 12- hour shift, the dogs will get Christmas presents at home. They normally get the majority of the presents that are under the tree. I do go a bit over the top and spoil them but it’s the least I can do.”


DID YOU KNOW? Duty rosters must set out the rest days, free days and public holidays on which you are required to work at least three months in advance. And they must be published at least one month before commencement. The roster should only be changed due to exigencies of duty. For more on your rights, see - www.polfed.org


DECEMBER 2020 | POLICE | 09


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