Tauranga police dog Turk and his handler Senior Constable Derek Orchard are this year's national police patrol dog champions and winners of the Frank Riley Cup.
Both handler and dog have many years of experience behind them but have only been working together as a team for the past twelve months.
Senior Constable Orchard is well aware of the necessity for dog and handler to build unique bond of trust and skill. In 2006 he and his dog Ben were attacked by a man with a claw hammer.
The competition is taken very seriously, patrol dogs are used in extremely dangerous situations and 23 police dogs have died in the course of duty. The skills tested during the competition are potentially lifesaving skills.
Auckland's Senior Constable William Birrell with his dog Hawk were runner's up and also won Commissioners Challenge Cup for obedience. Constable Stuart Rota and Link from Wellington were third and also won the William Rose Bowl for Criminal Work Disciplines.
This year's top explosive detector dog champion team and winner of the Aviation Security Shield is Aviation Security Officer Harvey Jefferies and 'Shadow' from Auckland.
Corrections Officer Barry Nelson and his dog Olesia from Christchurch won the Alan Symes Cup for the narcotic detector dog title, and the 'Customs Cup' for the highest marks in locating white powders.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush made a special presentation to the New Zealand Police Dog Section at the prize giving.
A commemorative plaque was presented to Inspector Brendon Gibson to recognise the professionalism and devotion to duty when some patrol dogs and personnel were called away from this competition, in 2009, to attend the emergency in Napier arising from the murder of Senior Constable Len Snee.
The top ten police patrol dog teams from around New Zealand competed for national honours at the New Zealand Police Dog Centre at Trentham this week.
They were joined by six of the best narcotic detector dog teams from Police, Corrections and Customs and the top five explosive detector dog teams from Police, Aviation Security Service and Customs.