Calgary Herald

Canines add bite to RCMP'S ability to work effectivel­y

Specialize­d Alberta Mounties dog teams nabbed more than 900 suspects in 2020

- LAUREN BOOTHBY lboothby@postmedia.com @laurby

EDMONTON More than 900 suspects were captured with the help of the RCMP'S police dogs in Alberta in 2020.

Police dog services responded to 2,800 calls this year, said Alberta RCMP in a Wednesday news release. Roughly 650 calls involved firearms or other weapons, 570 involved violence and 450 calls were to help find missing people.

Although many Albertans spent time in lockdown due to the pandemic, calls about rural property crime kept them busy — police dog teams responded to more than 950 of these calls.

“Despite these unique circumstan­ces, there was no shortage of work for our police dog service teams. Part of why they are so busy is their key role in rural property crime initiative­s. Police dog service teams are used in a primary role in locating and apprehendi­ng rural property crime suspects,” said Edmonton West Police Dog Services Cpl. Scott Lowe in the news release. The dogs were called more than 700 times for tracking that ended in 400 captures.

Alberta Mounties have 18 police dog teams.

They are trained to track suspects and search for missing people, guns, evidence, controlled substances and explosives.

Police have been breeding their own purebred German shepherds since 1999.

 ?? ALBERTA RCMP. ?? Hunter is one of the Alberta RCMP'S busy service dogs.
ALBERTA RCMP. Hunter is one of the Alberta RCMP'S busy service dogs.

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