50 more police dogs to relieve overworked canine squad

50 more police dogs to relieve overworked canine squad

The city has the highest number of dog squads due to a higher crime rate. DH file photo

The top cop has requested 50 additional police dogs for the city, nearly doubling the force consisting of 65 dogs at present to give relief to the overworked dog squad. 

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said: “The dogs are overworked and don’t even have a weekly off. As a dog lover, I hope that adding more dogs to the force will lighten their load. Dogs will be added to the (CCB’s) narcotics wing to strengthen the ongoing crackdown on drugs as well as to the bomb squad.” 

The dogs, divided into bomb, narcotics and crime squads, are trained for nine months before they are deployed for a ten-year service. Bengaluru police currently use Labradors, Dobermanns and German Shepherds. German Shepherds and Labradors are used for identifying narcotics and bomb detection. “Dobermanns are quick to use their paws which can be dangerous while dealing with explosives. They are used mainly for crime detection,” a senior police officer of the canine squad said. 

Crime dogs help find evidence, chase criminals and disarm them, he added. The city police this year purchased two Belgian Malinois dogs and are training them. They are significantly quicker than the species currently used, according to officers. 

While Karnataka has six dog squads in each district, the number of dogs in Bengaluru is significantly higher due to a higher crime rate, the proliferation of drugs and a number of officials visiting the city, a senior officer said.

Poor funding, facilities

Currently, the dog squad has a daily allowance of Rs 300 for each dog, which includes healthcare expenses, officials said. 

A canine squad official said that while the Karnataka state dog squad was among the
better ones in the country, dog care was still lacking as
compared to countries like the US. Rocky, a dog that was a part of the crime division for nine years and was due to retire next year, became paralysed in the first week of September.

“We have been taking him to a doctor in Hebbal but have been told that he is gone too far. If we had a doctor on grounds, he might have been saved,” the official added. 

Rao assured that once more dogs were added, healthcare facilities could also be improved upon.