By Jack Holmes
The Greater Manchester Police were keen to get involved with all the fun at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day this weekend and brought along some four-legged friends to entertain the crowds.
In a very exciting session, the Canine Incident Response team showed off some of their impressive skills to a huge crowd in Manchester’s All Saints Park, including a number of role-playing exercises.
The Greater Manchester Police’s dog squad contains over 50 staff and over 60 working dogs at any one time. All the dogs are allocated to their handler and remain with them for their entire working life before eventually retiring. After retirement, most of the dogs get to remain with their handlers.
The 40-minute event was split into four sections, beginning with a demonstration of obedience were the dogs followed police officers around a specially designed course.
This was followed by a detection exercise, in which items were hidden and then recovered by the police team’s specially trained furry force. The exercise was designed to show off how a dog is trained to sniff out everything from drugs to fireworks, and keep the public safe from unseen dangers.
The final section was the largest, with the dogs showing off how they deal with criminals. From chasing down assailants to disarming gun and bat-wielding thugs, the squad showed that they were more than prepared for whatever criminals could throw at them.
Debra Conroy spoke about the reason for the police team’s involvement in the Family Fun day. She said, “We didn’t just want the Manchester Children’s Book Festival’s pugs, and pug mascot, to be the only dogs at the festival!”
She added, “We want children to not be too afraid of dogs. Only the criminals should be afraid!”
The police team and their dogs worked very hard all around the area to keep the Manchester community safe. The Family Fun Day was a great opportunity for families to see the four-legged heroes in action for themselves.
The event finished with a victory lap by all the dogs.
For more information about all the exciting upcoming events in the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, download the 2016 Festival brochure.