Son of killed soldier tries dog-handler dream

Brandon Campbell, 12, whose soldier father Serjeant Steven Campbell was killed in Afghanistan after he promised they would train a puppy together. But Brandon has now had his wish fulfilled as he became a police dog handler for the day. Pictured with police dog Jodie.
Brandon Campbell, 12, whose soldier father Serjeant Steven Campbell was killed in Afghanistan after he promised they would train a puppy together. But Brandon has now had his wish fulfilled as he became a police dog handler for the day. Pictured with police dog Jodie.
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YOUNGSTER Brandon Campbell got a handle on his dream career after a special invitation from police chiefs.

The 12-year-old had planned to join the Army until dad Serjeant Steven Campbell was killed in Afghanistan.

Dated 03/11/2012''Serjeant Steven Campbell, who was killed in Afghanistan after he promised his son Brandon they would train a puppy together. But Brandon, 12, has now had his wish fulfilled as he became a police dog handler for the day.''See story North News'' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Dated 03/11/2012''Serjeant Steven Campbell, who was killed in Afghanistan after he promised his son Brandon they would train a puppy together. But Brandon, 12, has now had his wish fulfilled as he became a police dog handler for the day.''See story North News'' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Sjt Campbell, 30, of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in Helmand, on March 22, 2010.

Brandon, of Pelton, Chester-le-Street, in County Durham, later promised mum Lisa he would give up plans to follow his dad into the Army and turned his sights on becoming a police dog handler.

And the Park View School pupil got off to a great start when he was guest of honour of Durham Police at its dog training school in Spennymoor after his family wrote to the force.

Brandon spent the morning helping police trainers put Durham Constabulary’s canine corps through their paces.

He also helped to train community Labrador Ben, who with partner Jet spearheads the force’s Say No to Strangers campaign.

Brandon said: “I really enjoyed seeing what a dog handler has to do. The best bit was probably training Ben. I am even more sure this is what I want to do now.”

Officers presented Brandon with some souvenirs of his day, including photos of the force dogs in action.

Sgt Sue Madsen of Durham Police dog section, said: “It seems Brandon is giving some thought to his future career and is keen on the idea of becoming a police dog handler. We are happy for him to come along to the school and experience a little of what that role would entail.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho.