I joined Kent Police as a police constable in 2014 after serving for two years as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). I have always wanted to be a dog handler, and this was my reason for joining the police. I am passionate about dogs and have several of my own. I developed my skills and knowledge in various roles to give me a good foundation to apply as a dog handler.
I was on a local policing team (LPT) for several years where I gained a solid foundation of everyday policing, and I loved that each day was different.
I was fortunate to get involved in many public events as well as gain experience working alone in my football spotter role. I then moved into the Child Protection Team (CPT) where I further developed my experience and completed my advanced driving course. Throughout my career I have immersed myself within the dog section in both operational and training environments.
I was lucky that recruitment was open and applied. I had the support of my CPT sergeant, my chief inspector, and various handlers as well the dog section training team. I was successful in the process and started my initial training in September 2020 and became licensed in December 2020 with police dog (PD), Coty.
Being a dog handler is my dream job and one like no other. You develop a bond with your dog, and it's very different from having your own pet dog. You grow and learn together as a team; you both build the foundations to be a successful dog team. Being a dog handler is a full-time role both on and off duty as you have a four-legged crew mate that depends on you.
There is no greater feeling when as a team you get results - whether it's a property or person find or even chasing down and detaining offenders. The role allows me to explore every avenue which ordinarily would prove difficult for a police officer. There is always a downside to every role, for me as a dog handler it is being prepared that something could happen to your dog at any stage, you do your upmost to protect them but sometimes health, training issues or injuries can cause your dog to go into early retirement.
Being a dog handler is my dream job and I hope to spend the rest of my time at Kent Police in this role.