MEET Hendo, crime fighting’s new top dog.
The canine Sherlock is Durham Constabulary’s latest recruit – and has already shown he has a nose for the job.
The German shepherd was born into the force’s dog breeding programme and has been taken on by handler Pc Tony Drummond.
Three-month-old Hendo will now go into training to replace the Durham-based officer’s current dog Alf, aged six, when he retires.
Pc Drummond named his new charge after former crew mate Pc Ian Henderson, who is now an instructor at The Barns, the North East region dog training school.
Pc Drummond said: “When I first joined the dog section I was crewed with Ian and, as the puppy is likely to serve with me until I retire from the force, it seemed apt that both my first and last crew mates should go by the name of Hendo.”
Hendo will carry out duties including tracking, chasing suspects, enforcing public order and regular patrols with Pc Drummond.
The puppy was one of five German shepherds born in a litter of two dogs and three bitches, under the force’s breeding programme.
The pups were a second litter for their mum, police dog Willow, aged three-and-a-half and were assessed for their suitability to become canine crime-fighters at tender age of seven weeks.
Durham has kept a dog and bitch, while two pups have gone to Tayside police and the fifth to police in Warwickshire.
Dog trainer Steve Deakin said pups from Durham’s breeding programme have gained a reputation for being of the highest quality and, as a result, are in demand.
Much of the programme’s success is down to Pc Henderson, who has been breed manager for a number of years.
Steve added: “Matching parent dogs carefully gives the best chance of producing future generations of pups that are both physically and temperamentally suited to police work.
“Forces elsewhere know that we do that in Durham and word gets around when the names of particular dogs are mentioned.
“The breeding programme continues to be successful as the puppies inherit attributes that make them suitable for police work and this is encouraged by the handlers who choose their names and begin socialising them from an early age.”