Pooch is top dog for police salaries

Pooch is top dog for police salaries
31 December 2005
Birmingham Mail

ONE of the country's top police dogs - bred by West Midlands Police -earns more in a day than her force's Chief Constable.

Keela, a 16-month-old springer spaniel, can sniff out the smallest samples of human blood - even after items have been cleaned or washed many times.

The South Yorkshire Police dog has already helped forces across the country, including working on the high-profile stabbing of Abigail Witchalls in Surrey, and is hired out at £530 per day, plus expenses.

If she worked every day of the year, she would earn almost £200,000 -around £70,000 more than her force's Chief Constable. Now forces worldwide have expressed interest in her specialist training and Keela will be travelling to America in the New Year to assist the FBI with two murder inquiries.

A South Yorkshire force spokeswoman said the crime scene investigation dog has saved more then £200,000 nationally since April this year, helping with investigations in Ireland, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Surrey and the Thames Valley areas.

Her handler, PC Martin Grime, has been responsible for training Keela, along with National Search Adviser Mark Harrison, since June last year. Then the eight-week-old puppy became the centre of an experiment to see whether she could be trained to work as part of the team.

Unlike ordinary police dogs, Keela has never taken part in the usual six-week training course but has been trained, bit by bit, by PC Grime every day.

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