My deepest appreciation to the folks at The Express & Star, especially Aidan Goldstraw head of internet development, of Wolverhampton, England for their permission to reproduce the following story.
Rottweiler recruit to join crime fight
Jan 1, 2003, 23:31:00
Staffordshire police have recruited a special four-legged detective to help them crack down on crooks.
Billy the rottweiler has broken the mould, with the force being one of the few in the UK to use the breed as well as German Shepherds.
The force's dog handling unit, based at its Cannock Road headquarters, in Stafford, toured the length and breadth of the country for its recruitment drive, including advertisements in newspapers.
An advert even appeared in the Express & Star, and following the success of the publicity more than 100 dogs trotted to attention from around the country.
And 17-month-old Billy, from Birmingham, is the force's first rottweiler in over 20 years.
The force has also recruited two new German Shepherd dogs, called Kilo, aged 13 months, and 15-month-old Sam.
Kilo originally hails from Manchester, while Sam was from London.
Dog handler, Pc John Taylor said: "We will travel wherever to find the best dogs. When we saw Billy we knew straight away he was good. He can now 'hop' over six foot barriers.
"Sam was actually found through an Exchange and Mart magazine and we went down to London to pick him up."
The force now has completed its new crook-catching canine team and the dogs are being trained to work closely with beat officers.
They are now in the 'classroom' to be trained to tackle thieves, search for missing people in woods, and help their officer if he gets into trouble.
Pc Taylor added: "We haven't got the resources to use less-than perfect dogs and hopefully, Billy, Kilo and Sam have a bright future ahead of them."
It is estimated the force is one of a number in the country to use rottweilers. West Midlands Police is thought to have three among their 60 dogs.