The Canine Section (K-9 unit) of the Guyana Police Force is one of the most significant departments within the Force. It plays a significant role in assisting in the reduction of crime in the country.
It is currently under the command of Second-in-Command ‘Operations’ Assistant Superintendent Ronald Ali, who is assisted by Inspector Narine Lall.
The Canine Section, which is located in the Mounted Branch Compound at Barrack Street, Kingston, Eve Leary, was established in the early 1960s. In its crime fighting role, the canine section assists with the detection of explosives, illegal arms and ammunition, blood, illegal drugs and contraband. The ranks also conduct canine patrols in crime prone areas and at key ports of entry.
At the beginning, Corporal 5083 Williams was in command of the K-9 unit with one dog at that time named Rio, which soon became a household name. Rio was referred to as the “Wonder Dog” owing to the capture of many criminals, both local and in law enforcement cooperation overseas.
Rio was part of a police operation in one of the largest manhunts in Montserrat and played a role in the successful recapture of the fugitive William Bramble also known as “Fine Twine” who was wanted for several crimes in the Caribbean.
Emphasis has been placed on the training of ranks both locally and overseas, including a comprehensive programme which was conducted locally by British Police Sergeant Robert Ling, aimed at enabling ranks to become more efficient Canine Handlers.
Following this training programme, the Canine section acquired four dogs – Byron, Vince, Ross and Warren; they were trained for one year by the British expert.
The Section has also benefitted from additional animals that were received following the attendance of ranks on Canine Training Programmes in the United States of America.
Between 2006 and 2013, 16 police ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department and Canine Section were trained overseas in different areas when it comes to the handling and commanding of police dogs.
Those courses include narcotics interdiction and tracking, dog handler courses on narcotics and explosives detection.
At present, the Criminal Investigation Department has five “explosive, narcotics and firearm detection” dogs- Molly, Niko, Ben, Brenda and Ace.
Ace was critical in a major find, recently.
Based on intensive intelligence gathered, on November 16, 2016, ranks of the Guyana Police Force conducted a search of a taxi driver of Tuschen, EBE, and his motor vehicle at the Brickdam Police Station.
The initial search by ranks came up empty handed and it was decided to use one of its sniffer dogs trained in the detection of firearms and explosive devices.
Ace arrived with its handler, Lance Corporal, Dwayne Mc Pherson, and in the presence of the driver and other ranks, led them to the left front door panel, which when opened revealed an unlicensed .38 Smith and Wesson revolver with five live matching rounds.
In its current crime fighting initiative, the department is combating drug trafficking throughout the country especially at the ports of entry.
Dogs such as Rambo and Kazan who were trained by Sergeant Carl Saul have performed outstandingly in tracking ‘human scent’.
The canines are housed at Mounted Branch Compound and the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters, Eve-Leary.
The breeds include German Shepherds, Belgium Shepherds, Doberman, Labrador Retrievers, Belgium Tavern Shepherd, Springer Spaniel and a mix breed of German and Belgium Shepherd.
In addition to its crime fighting role, the Canine Section is playing a meaningful role in the Police Force’s Community Relations programme with crowd thrilling performances at Police Gymkhanas and pet shows around the country. (Guyana Police Force)
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