A special presentation has been made within West Yorkshire Police today - to police dog Gimley.
Gimley joined the Dog Support Unit in 2009 and has been an general purpose police dog for seven years.
On his first shift, Gimley apprehended three burglars, and on his last shift he assisted Firearms officers in apprehending a suspect after an armed robbery, tracking the offender from the scene and locating him so officers could safely detain him.
Gimley also gained media attention when he fell down a 40ft ravine in Gildersome in March 2014, after pursuing a man who had failed to stop for police.
Gimley is the first West Yorkshire Police Dog to receive a formal certificate of his service from The Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins which was presented today, along with a special ‘doggy themed’ hamper from a local pet shop.
Temporary Chief Constable Collins said; “It is such a pleasure to be able to celebrate the hard work of our police dogs. They are one of the many resources used to support officers in keeping our communities safe.
“They are a fantastic asset and like our staff they are considered part of the police family. By recognising their service in this way I hope to highlight how highly regarded and valued they are by the force and the public.”
As with all retired police dogs, Gimley will live out his senior years with his handler and family.
Dog Handler Tim Yates said; “Gimley has been an outstanding police dog, and its my pleasure to have worked him, but also to have had him as a colleague and companion. He is such an affectionate and loving dog, as well as always giving a hundred percent to whatever he is tasked with. I am delighted he is the first force dog to get a formal recognition of retirement from the Chief Constable, and know he will be happy laying in the sun and taking things easy after his many years service.”
Fireside K9 is a West Yorkshire based charity that supports handlers with retired police dogs. The charity is there to pay for any major medical bills and hopes that handlers won’t have to make the choice between an expensive medical bill and having a dog euthanized.
PC Duncan Matthews, secretary of K9 says; “It is fantastic that police dogs in West Yorkshire will now be recognised for their dedication and hard work when they retire from duty. Animals working in services can sometimes get over looked as just being “tools to get the job done” but they are so much more. They give everything to their handlers and the Force, and its great to be able to celebrate that.”
Head of the Dog Support Unit, PS Stewart Dunderdale said; “Everyone gets quite excited when we have new puppies joining the unit, and in the past the older retiring dogs have tended to get overlooked. Its such a great thing that the Force recognises the dogs for the years of service they have given and the great job they have done.”