Dog handling unit review ongoing

The Dunedin police dog handling section seems set for a further cutback.

Only three out of five positions remain operational in the city's dog handling unit following the resignation of three handlers within the past two years.

The Otago Daily Times understands one of the vacancies created by the resignations will not be filled, reducing the unit to four - one sergeant and three constables.

The other position had been filled by a trainee dog handler this year but she and her dog would not be deployable until October.

The unit had six staff at one stage.

That was reduced to five when one handler was moved to another frontline position before a structure review was ordered. It is understood that handler has been on other duties for almost 12 months.

Southern district operations manager Inspector Steve McGregor said the review of the city's dog handling unit began late last year but no decisions had been made on the final structure.

New Zealand Police Southern district communications manager Nic Barkley said it had not been confirmed the vacant handler position would be shifted to another area.

He said staff would be notified of any decisions before public comment was made.

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