Brock to the res­cue

Po­lice ser­vice dog hon­ours fallen Moun­tie

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

One of the new­est mem­bers of the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion District RCMP has four legs and a tail. He’s trained to lo­cate lost peo­ple, ap­pre­hend crim­i­nals, and search for ex­plo­sives, firearms, and ar­ti­cles with hu­man scent on them.

He’s also car­ry­ing on the legacy of a Moun­tie who died dur­ing a vi­o­lent in­ci­dent in Al­berta six years ago that left the en­tire coun­try in shock.

Brock, as he is known, is a blackand-tan Ger­man Shep­herd po­lice ser­vice dog. His han­dler is Cpl. Ja­son But­ler. The duo is sta­tioned at the Bay Roberts de­tach­ment.

But­ler’s present canine part­ner was born at the RCMP’s dog train­ing cen­tre in In­n­is­fail, Al­berta in 2009. He was named Brock in the RCMP’s an­nual na­tional name-the-puppy con­test.

Serv­ing the coun­try

Eight-year-old Ai­dan Schafer of Red Deer, Al­berta, named the puppy in hon­our of Const. Brock My­rol, one of four RCMP mem­bers killed in the line of duty in May­erthorpe, Al­berta, in 2005.

My­rol’s mother, Colleen, told theRed Deer Ex­press­last year, “As (But­ler and Brock) go to serve the coun­try ... it’s sort of like our Brock is mov­ing on, only with four legs in­stead of two.”

But­ler is a na­tive of Cen­tral New­found­land. His started his polic­ing ca­reer at the Har­bour Grace de­tach­ment in 1998. He also did gen­eral du­ties at Bay Roberts.

He com­pleted train­ing with his first dog, Mazer, in 2005, and was posted to North Van­cou­ver, Bri­tish Columbia. But­ler was trans­ferred to the Bay Roberts dog sec­tion in 2006. He and Mazer worked to­gether un­til ear­lier this year.

But­ler was in­ter­ested in dogs even since he was a child. When he saw po­lice ser­vice dogs at work, he “ thought it would be a great ca­reer av­enue to ex­plore,” he says.

He re­ceived Brock when he was seven weeks old. The dog com­pleted his train­ing in only 44 days.

Per­sonal pet

But­ler re­sides in Con­cep­tion Bay North with his wife and daugh­ter, while Brock lives in a ken­nel in their back­yard. But­ler’s re­tired part­ner, Mazer, is now But­ler’s per­sonal pet.

“If the weather is re­ally cold ... the soft spot in us typ­i­cally brings the dog in­side,” But­ler ad­mits.

Brock was se­lected as a po­lice ser­vice dog be­cause of his “good ge­netic traits,” But­ler says. The large dog, which has an even tem­per­a­ment and strong hunt­ing in­stincts, is taught to bite and hold.

There are some 137 po­lice dog teams across Canada, with a fur­ther 20

“I hope to build on (Brock’s) solid train­ing foun­da­tion. Hope­fully, it

will trans­late into suc­cesses in the field when

we as­sist the pub­lic.”

or so spe­cialty teams used to de­tect nar­cotics or ex­plo­sives. Male Ger­man Shep­herds are the breed of choice.

But­ler thinks he has the “ best job in the out­fit.” He hopes to “ build on (Brock’s) solid train­ing foun­da­tion. Hope­fully, it will trans­late into suc­cesses in the field when we as­sist the pub­lic,” he says.

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