Police are preparing for the
arrival of six new dogs to join its aging K9 unit in Cayman.
At a police/community meeting in
George Town on Monday night, Police Commissioner David Baines revealed that the
new dogs would arrive from the Netherlands at the end of November and would
replace most of the canines used by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
“They are in training and are on
their way,” Mr. Baines said.
The Belgian Malinois dogs were due
to arrive this month, but a change in the quarantine and immunisation laws in
Holland delayed their arrival until November.
Mr. Baines said most of the police
dogs currently being used are “past retirement age and should have been
The six new dogs will be trained as
general purpose dogs for operational patrol, and two of each will be trained
for firearms, explosives and drug detection.
Their arrival was delayed because
the Dutch authorities extended the country’s immunisation and quarantine period
for the export of animals by three months after the police agreed to purchase
them, explained Inspector Ian Brellisford of the RCIPS.
When they arrive on Island, the
dogs will have a ‘honeymoon’ period before they will be deemed to be fit for
patrol and active duty. This will give them a chance to bond with their
handlers who will train them over a two-month period.
“During this period, our existing
dogs will remain operational,” Inspector Brellisford said. “Once the new dogs
assume this role, our existing dogs will be retired when they reach eight years
He added that nearly all the dogs
were already eight years old or nearing that age.
“It is undecided as to whether our
handlers will be allowed to keep the dogs as they retire or if they will be
given to a suitable home,” he said. “In most cases, the relationship between
dog and handler is a unique partnership and retiring dogs stay with the handler
if personal circumstances will allow.”
Cayman’s K9 programme began in the
According to the RCIPS, once
officers are selected as handlers, they must complete more than 400 hours of
intensive training, working as a team with their dog. Before graduation, each
team must complete and pass a set of qualifying exercises which are judged by
the master trainer.
The police use the dogs to track
suspects hiding in buildings or open areas, and to sniff out weapons, drugs and