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Kids to name ball-crazy drugs dogs

PUBLISHED: 21:17 21 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010

SCHOOL children are being asked to name Suffolk Police's two newest recruits - a pair of ball-mad puppies enlisted to crack down on drug pushers.

Following an appeal in the Evening Star for a second toy-crazy mutt to be trained as passive drug detection body-scanning dog, a 13-month old Labrador-collie cross has been signed up.

SCHOOL children are being asked to name Suffolk Police's two newest recruits – a pair of ball-mad puppies enlisted to crack down on drug pushers.

Following an appeal in the Evening Star for a second toy-crazy mutt to be trained as passive drug detection body-scanning dog, a 13-month old Labrador-collie cross has been signed up.

Dogs section sergeant Jim Gall said he received five four-legged offers for use in the disruption of the drugs trade, and the latest, currently unnamed, recruit fitted the bill perfectly.

"We're more than happy with this one we've taken on," said Sgt Gall. "He's one of the most ball-mad dogs I've ever seen in my life." Detection dogs need to be fanatical about toys because balls are used in their training as a reward for sniffing out narcotics.

Sgt Gall has left the job of naming the two canine crackers up to Suffolk's school pupils. In May, the kennel mates will head to canine training school in Durham to learn to sniff out cocaine, crack, ecstasy and other drugs. But before then the pups need names.

Sgt Gall is asking each school to suggest a single name for one of the dogs and those that pick the best will win a personal visit by the drugs mutts and their handlers.

Schools can send their suggestion to Sgt Gall at the Police Dogs Section, Suffolk Constabulary Force HQ, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, IP5 7QS.

Following the successful signing of the passive drugs dogs (so called because they sit quietly in front of a person when they detect narcotics on them), Sgt Gall also wants offers of German Shepherds to replace two general police dogs who are approaching retirement.

Male or female, the dogs need to be between ten and 20 months old and "very play oriented, bold, confident and have outgoing personalities," Sgt Gall said.

"It's a brilliant life for a dog," he added. "Unlike most dogs in Britain, they will go to work with their owner on a daily basis and have daily employment throughout their active adult life. They have one of the best lives going for a dog."

The German Shepherds will be used for general police work such as tracking and searching for people and property and in a public order role including the policing of football matches.

If you have a dog you think fits the bill, call Sgt Gall on 01473 613723.

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