To strengthen security in the capital: soon, a team of dogs to help with investigations will be deployed in local police stations

Training for hours every day on VIP routes, metro stations, markets, airports and railway stations, the Delhi Police Criminal Branch Canine Squad follows a disciplined routine. These dogs will soon be deployed to all ranges of the capital to assist local police in their tracking, detection and investigation work, officials said on Sunday.

The team currently has 64 trained dogs – German Shepherds, Labradors, Belgian Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. Of the 64, 49 dogs are explosive detection experts and 13 are trackers.

Whether recovering stolen property, detecting explosive materials, identifying narcotics or searching for missing children, the dogs are well trained and follow a strict diet and routine. They are also part of Republic Day, Independence Day and other police parades, where they parade with their handlers.

DCP (Crime) Manoj C said: “Dogs play a vital role in the safety and security of the city. We have had incidents where dogs have been used to guard courts, malls, markets and the airport. They were trained at the Indian Army Remount and Veterinary Corps base at Meerut. Some of them have been trained by the Border Security Force (BSF) of Madhya Pradesh. They are now ready to work with different police teams.

After the training of explosive detection dogs, the police hired 19 handlers for personal training in Meerut. Dog training begins at six months of age.

“We need specialized dogs in the nation’s capital. There are always VIP tasks and anti-sabotage checks where we need more than human eyes to detect any danger, especially after the two IED incidents in Shahdara. At the end of the training, the dogs and their handlers must qualify for a practical and written test and must obtain a certificate. If they fail, their training period is extended,” an officer said.

Currently, the dogs are deployed in 10 police stations in Delhi – Model Town, Chanakyapuri, Kalyanpuri, Darya Ganj, Sabzi Mandi, Maurya Enclave, RK Puram, Dwarka, Janakpuri and Saket.

At the Saket center, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Gautam and his team care for Golden Retrievers and other 2019 inducted breeds. “We feed them a very nutritious diet with eggs, milk, mutton, roti and dalia (porridge). We train them and also give them time to play with their furry friends and dog handlers,” said ASI Gautam.

In North Delhi, DCP Sagar Singh Kalsi said the canine squad remained inside Sabzi Mandi police station and had been operational for a long time. The center is run by ASI Jitendra Dogra who said he was caring for four Labradors and a German Shepherd – three are explosive detection dogs and the other two are tracker dogs.

“We have many politicians, personalities and civil servants living in North Delhi and need to do checks for their safety. There is also the court of Tis Hazari where the dogs are taken for regular bomb and weapon checks. To prevent crime near ISBT, Chandni Chowk and other high traffic locations, we are deploying dogs to carry out checks,” ASI Dogra said.