Bengaluru cops may soon get stray company at night

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The constable on night beat in the city may soon enjoy some four-legged company as the police department plans to adopt a "suitable" stray dog that can accompany them on long walks.

City police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said the plan was still in the early stages and involves the adoption of stray dogs. “Beat constables who patrol alone during nights can take these dogs with them. We want to make use of every resource around us. Of late, there have been several assaults on policemen, and they can count on a dog for defence to some extent,” he said.

Karnataka Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelamani Raju is said to have expressed interest in “adopting” stray dogs along the lines of a project taken up by Uttarakhand police.

The matter was discussed at a meeting of police top brass from various states in New Delhi last month. The talk was on disaster management and the idea of using existing resources effectively was discussed.

Uttarakhand IGP (Modernisation) Sanjay Gunjyal said his state’s experiment with stray dogs came up for discussion as it was relevant for search and rescue operations.

“Uttarakhand was the first state in the country to induct stray dogs into its police dog squad. The canines are currently undergoing a mandatory three-month training in the hill state and are likely to join active duty in the next few weeks," he said.

Karnataka DGP and senior officers from other states showed keen interest in the Uttarakhand experiment where stray dogs perform duties usually done by high breed canines, he added.

The initiative may also goad citizens into adopting stray dogs.

Bhaskar Rao said they were still examining the pros and cons of such a project in Bengaluru. 

A senior police officer from the Bengaluru canine squad said Labrador Retrievers were used for sniffing duties, Doberman Pinschers for crime detection and German Shepherds for bomb squad and narcotics detection.

"Stray dogs cannot be used for any of these purposes, but since the policemen would be alone during nights, they can take them with them,” he said.

"During one of the meetings on sourcing high pedigree dogs, the prospects of stray dogs in the force was discussed and was approved of. One of them named 'Thenga' is now giving tough competition to other elite dogs in the squad," sources said, quoting the IGP.

The experiment in Uttarakhand started accidentally with the adoption of an eight-month-old stray dog found on the outskirts of capital town Dehradun by the daughter of a sub-inspector heading the dog squad.

The hill state of Himachal Pradesh has come up with a plan to waive parking fee and garbage disposal fee for residents in Shimla who adopt a stray dog.

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