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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 06:33 GMT
Dogs take the lead after training
Alsatian in training
There are now 61 police dogs in the force
Four new police recruits will take the lead in the Devon and Cornwall force when they graduate from their training.

Four German shepherds and their police officer handlers complete a 13-week training course on Friday.

The dogs have been trained for general purpose duties, which include tracking offenders, searching for missing people and recovering stolen property.

They will join the 36 other handlers and 57 other dogs in the force and will be used across the area.

'Constant thinking'

Pc Colin Harper, from Exeter, will graduate with nine-month-old Raven after he decided to switch from normal police duties to become a dog handler.

He said: "Working with a police dog enables you to catch people that others can't.

"There is no other job like it. It involves constant thinking and learning. As a dog handler, you still perform all the functions of a patrol constable, only with a dog in the back of your car."

Dog Section Inspector Tony Jordan said: "They will join the other handlers and other dogs in the force and together become vital assets to policing force-wide.

"Together they will be a valuable addition to the force and extremely useful tools in the fight against crime."

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