Tomorrow will be a special day for three of our furry comrades as Police Dogs (PDs) Bertie, Larry and Prue will be officially sworn in at the Queensland Police Service Academy, Oxley campus, as Human Remains Detection Specialist (Cadaver) dogs.
Since its conception in 2006, the QPS Cadaver Detection Dog Team has become a valuable tool used in assisting to locate recently deceased and historical human remains, and in the event of natural disasters and aircraft crashes.
So unique is their capability that the only other State to have cadaver dogs is New South Wales, which results in regular requests for our team to provide assistance to other police departments throughout Australia.
The dogs have undergone intense specialist training with their handlers and are stationed at the Brisbane Dog Squad where they perform duties throughout the State as Cadaver Detection Police Dog Teams.
As of tomorrow the QPS will have 68 General Purpose dogs, 5 Explosive Ordinance Response Team dogs, 11 Drug Detection dogs, and 4 Human Remains Detection (Cadaver) dogs.
He may be the oldest and the smallest of the trio, but PD Bertie brings a lot of experience to the group. Celebrating his fifth birthday this year, PD Bertie was trained with the NSW Police Force in human remains detection. He transferred to the QPS where he has been working for two years and successfully completed the QPS Human Remains training.
At times PD Bertie forgets he is a Springer Spaniel and for fun likes to go up and down children’s slippery slides and also takes hold of the protective bite sleeve with his German Shepherd brother, PD Quinn, albeit with a smaller bite training arm. Their handler, Sergeant Sean Baxendell, has affectionately nicknamed the duo Bert and Ernie and says the pair love working and playing together.
PD Larry is a QPS bred Labrador born in December 2012 and is trained to detect the scent of human remains and drowned victims. With three of his brothers currently serving as QPS Drug Detection dogs, it was only a matter of time before PD Larry honed his particular skill.
His handler, Sergeant Warren Gates, is also teamed with Drug Detection PD Turk who is PD Larry’s cousin. The dynamic duo are regularly caught playing tug-a-war with their toys and are inseparable when not working.
PD Prue will turn two this November and has been bred by the QPS. Her father, PD Costa, was a QPS Police Dog and has recently been donated to the NT Police Dog Operations Unit and her mother was a QPS breeding dog Odelle. PD Prue is one of a number of female working dogs currently serving in the QPS.
PD Prue is the third German Shepherd to join handler Senior Constable Chad McLeod’s pack, who also has General Purpose PD Maui and retired General Purpose PD Xero. Having three German Shepherds makes for an interesting household, with Chad describing PD Prue as having a lot of energy and enjoys playing with her brothers.