Tika takes a break after peforming a test drug sniffing run inside the Winkler Civic Centre
Winkler residents will soon see a new member of the community's police service on the streets, but this one has a tail. At this week's council meeting, Winkler Police Service introduced Tika an almost four year old female Belgian Malinois. Tika and her handler Constable Arnie Klassen have completed their training with the Winnipeg Police Service canine unit, and are now ready to hit the streets.
Klassen tells us about how the Winkler Police Service ended up meeting Tika...
Tika has been trained in a passive detector dog technique, which doesn't include any sort of biting or other aggressive measures. In a demonstration Tuesday night at Winkler City Council, Tika showed how she responds to finding an illegal stash of drugs. She simply sat down as close as she could to where the drugs were hidden, and Chief Rick Hiebert indicated that's how she would react in a drug sniffing operation in the field. The dog is trained to sniff out ten illegal, common street drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstacy, and crystal meth.
Constable Arnie Klassen addresses city council Tuesday night
Klassen tells us they will now continue to develop their relationship in the field, something he says will come from simply spending time with each other. He says a big part of their job is being able to communicate with each other, for example knowing how to read Tika when she's working and when she's picked up on a scent, and when she needs to be pulled away from something that has distracted her. The department plans on using Tika in several different scenarios including search warrants and vehicle searches.
Constable Arnie Klassen with Tika
Photos courtesy of Winkler Police Service.
~ Wednesday, May 26th 2010 ~