Ex-police dogs will be honoured with medal for services to Essex
PUBLISHED: 09:56 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:21 29 April 2016
Retired police dogs in Essex will be first in the country to receive a medal at the end of their loyal service.
Essex Police will award the medals, engraved with service dates, during ceremonies to both general purpose and detection dogs who served with the Dog Unit.
Dog handler Pc Paul Nicholls came up with the idea after installing a plaque dedicated to the memory and faithful service of police dogs in the Chief Constable’s garden at Essex Police headquarters last year.
Since then he has been working with Dog Unit Inspector Brad Dickel, the Essex Police Federation and the Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund to bring the idea to life.
Pc Nicholls has worked with a total of eight police dogs throughout his career including his current German Shepherd Fidget and drug and blood detection spaniel Ludo.
He said: “Our police dogs work incredibly hard and support their officer colleagues throughout their career. Therefore it seems only right that their loyal, brave and unfaltering service be recognised.
“It’s important too we don’t forget those dogs who have died during service so we’ll be presenting medals in their memory to the handlers they partnered.”
The medals have been funded by the Essex Police Federation and will be presented in a wooden box etched with the name of the dog. The first ceremony will be in June.
Linda Belgrove, chairman of the Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in bringing this initiative to fruition and we will continue to give it our full support.
“The medals are a fitting tribute and a symbol of the recognition due to these exceptional dogs who have loyally served the people of Essex.”
Insp Dickel added: “It is only right every retiring police dog receives recognition for their unfaltering bravery and dedication.”