- The Peterborough Police Service Canine (K9) Unit was formed in 1997. Four police service dogs (PSD) have since served and been retired.
- Currently, Constable Tim Fish with PSD Wolfe and Constable Sam McCullum with PSD Hal can be seen patrolling the streets of Peterborough Lakefield and in the Township of Cavan Monaghan.
- Both Wolfe and Hal are German Shepherds imported from Kentucky. It is interesting to note that Wolf and Hal are direct brothers with one year separating them in age. This breed is chosen for their physical ability, strength and intelligence. A strong temperament is very important as these dogs are expected to perform in stressful situations.
- PSD Wolf was purchased by the Knights of Columbus and donated to the service.
- PSD Hal was purchased by the Kinsmen Club of Peterborough and also donated to the service. These organizations have helped to make the Canine program a success in Peterborough.
- Police Service Dogs have many responsibilities. Their expertise includes narcotic detection, tracking, agility, article search, building search, open search, chase and apprehension, and handler protection.
- All handlers must complete an extensive thirteen-week course where the handler and dog learn as a team. Our PSD teams are trained and continue maintenance training under direction of the Niagara Regional Police Canine Unit.
- The K9 teams attend numerous public functions and school presentations.
In 2016, the canine teams responded to 1,070 non-canine related calls for service, 125 Canine calls for service with 59 successful results or a 47.2% success rate. The canine teams also participated in 21 search warrants. Constables Fish and McCullum also performed SOCO duties, assisted the Emergency Response Team with search warrants and dynamic entries, ensuring the safety of the officers and any persons that may be found in the location being searched.
The Canine teams have completed 534 hours of training time which include the semiannual re-certification that is required to maintain the use of the Canine teams as well as the monthly training that is required in addition to the individual training that each officer performs.
In early 2016, the Canine teams were approached by Corrections Canada and requested to assist them in random drug searches a local federal halfway house. Both teams routinely participate in this new undertaking. The canine teams also assisted Provincial Correctional Services at the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) with drug searches and assisted the OPP with several Canine calls.
Canine Successes in 2016 that should be noted include:
• Two male suspects that stole a vehicle, broke into the Peterborough Clinic and stole 5 cash trays from an ATM machine containing approximately $20,000 were tracked approximately 4 kilometers where both arrested and all money was recovered.
• Suspect fled into woods after assaulting a fellow resident and was located by the canine team
• Male wanted for 17 frauds from GTA fled after an attempt at a local electronics store and was located by a Canine team thereby eliminating the crime spree by this male.
• Male refusing to remove his hands from his pockets, possibly concealing a weapon, and potentially forcing officers to make to use lethal force. Once the Canine team was presented, the male fully complied and was arrested without incident.
The successes are just a very small selection of the daily tasks that are encountered by the Canine Unit. Without the dedication and commitment to the community and their canine partners, success stories, such as the ones described, would not be as plentiful and may have much different results. The canine teams are an invaluable resource to the Peterborough Police Service.