GP dogs Justice, Yager and Jimmy join the front line

Queensland Corrective Services welcomes three new dog handlers and General Purpose (GP) dogs at a graduation ceremony at the QCS Academy this morning.

Assistant Commissioner Ursula Roeder said the dogs and handlers would play a vital role in boosting officer safety in prisons, providing an important emergency response capability to support custodial officers.

“QCS is committed to making our prisons as safe as possible for our officers, visitors and prisoners, and GP dogs and their handlers play a really important role in the dynamic security of our centres,” AC Roeder said.

“In addition to supporting the overall security of our prisons, GP dogs really come into their own in emergency response situations, supporting our officers to defuse potentially dangerous situations.

“The barking of a GP dog advancing on a unit has a remarkable calming effect on even the most heightened prisoner. Our front-line officers will tell you it is a most welcome sound when they are dealing with critical incidents.

“I’d like to acknowledge the effort, dedication and personal sacrifices that the new handlers have made to pursue the challenging career of a QCS Dog Handler,” AC Roeder said.

A/g State GP trainer, Morgan Chisholm said the new dog handlers were selected from the ranks of custodial correctional officers and have worked hard to build their skills.

“The officers and their dogs completed a three-month training course covering obedience, agility, offender apprehension, tracking, intruder detection, property searches and operational deployment strategies.

“These officers, who started their careers as custodial correctional officers, have worked hard to develop not only themselves along this journey but also their recruit dogs,” he said.

“The high standard of competency that all three handlers have achieved over the arduous course is a testament to their commitment.

“Of course, graduating is just the beginning for these new partnerships. Our dog handlers spend a great deal of their own time developing and nurturing their young working dogs so that they can deploy within the correctional environment and support our front-line staff and the community on a daily basis.

“Training continues almost daily throughout the working career of our dogs, to sharpen and refine their responsiveness and skills and build their relationship with their handlers,” CCO Chisholm said.

GP Jimmy will commence work at Townsville Correctional Centre, while GP Yager and GP Justice will join the front line at Maryborough Correctional Centre.

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