Two new crime fighting duos with some extra bite will hit the beat in Northland following the graduation of handlers and their canine colleagues.

Constable Alan Duncan with 21-month-old police dog Yawk along with Constable Josh Van Der Kwaak and 20-month-old Caesar graduated as operational patrol teams from the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre at Trentham last Thursday.

They will be sniffing out crime in the mid north and Far North areas.

Duncan has been a dog handler for seven of his 13 years of policing and has previously had two dogs. His most recent dog, eight-year-old Zarr, is about to retire and live with a former handler in Dunedin.


Van Der Kwaak is a first-time handler after six years' policing experience.

A former Northland officer, Cam Mullenger, who was stationed in Whangārei and spent time as an Acting Sergeant in Dargaville, will also get his first taste of policing with a canine companion. He has teamed up and graduated with two-year-old Loki and will hit the beat in Wellington.

Head of Northland's police dog section Sergeant Bruce McLeod said the newest canine recruits had been fostered in Northland as pups so it was great their careers were continuing in the region.

With the two new dog units it meant Northland's dog section was back to full strength and that would mean better coverage - not such good news for criminals.

"There will be a dog and handler always working across the region. This gives us better coverage and means quicker response times," McLeod said.