Estevan's newest Police Officer, K9 Max was officially introducd to the Estevan Police Board last night.
"I want to thank everyone on the Police Board for giving me the opportunity to do this," shares Cst. Paul Chabot, the handler for Max. "I told the Chief when I interviewed for the position, it was a dream of mine, I was going to be a police officer but I always wanted to be a canine handler. I just started out in it but I can tell it's already really rewarding."
Cst Chabot outlined a few things that Max is able to do.
"We trained on a variety of things. One of the mainstays is tracking. People think tracking, you're thinking like a criminal which he can do."
He shared that Max is very good at tracking, not only tracking suspects fleeing, but if there are calls for missing people, whether it be an older person who has wandered off or a missing child, Max is very adept tracking them. He is also trained to treat fleeing suspects and missing people differently and is given commands by the handler. The Estevan Police Service is very aware of past incidents around the province and across Canada and safety of the residents are top priority.
"He's trained to bite when I tell him to bite."
As well, Max scored very high in training with his ability to track evidence in the field.
"Say someone commits a crime and threw something off. He's really good at scent work so the evidence that was thrown away, hes able to locate that."
Chief Ladouceur shared a story when he was investigating a rash of armed robberies. A police dog was utilized and was able to locate a discarded balaclava.
"It never would have been found without the dog. We get DNA from the balaclava and we get a hit and 12 hours later he's in custody."
As well, Max is able to locate freshly fired firearms.
"There's also the drug profile," contiunes Cst. Chabot. "With that it brings a variety of aspects. He can go to the schools and show the kids the things he can do. And with drugs, it's not just going into a house and finding drugs, it's outside of vehicles."
Max is also able to be used in protection situations as Chief Ladouceur outlines.
"This is a less than lethal force, this is an option for the officer if someone has met the threshold for use of force then the dog will be deployed."
Max will be available to help surrounding communities if they are in need.
Currently, the Estevan Police is finalizing their policies regarding the new dog and once those are in place which should be completed by the end of the week which mean Cst. Chabot and Max should be hitting the streets starting next week.