POLICE Scotland’s newest recruit is a cuddly two-month-old puppy called Bodie.
The German Shepherd began training with his dog handler today after travelling up to Aberdeen from London at the end of last week.
Bodie was singled out as being the perfect dog to carry out general policing duties because of his drive and inquisitive nature.
He was named after tough heart-throb William Bodie who featured in the hit 1970s cop show The Professionals and is already living up to his nature.
The 5kg puppy was tasked with environmental training yesterday, learning how to adapt to walking on new surfaces with his feet.
This involved Bodie heading out on to cobbled city streets and spending time travelling in lifts at Aberdeen’s City Divisional Headquarters on Queen Street.
Bodie was also taken out in a police car to get him used to hearing sirens while travelling out on jobs.
Yesterday constable Steve Warden, regional police dog instructor for the north-east of Scotland, said the puppy will carry out general police dog duties once fully trained.
He said: “It’s a very important role, it’s not just for the police service, animals provide an extremely beneficial and worthwhile service to keep people safe and fighting crime.
“He’s full of life, inquisitive and confident. He shows a bit of bravado to say the least and he really fits in well around other dogs and people.
“Once he goes through the licensing procedure he will be asked to carry out a number of general police dog duties, the majority of which will be looking for missing people, searching crime scenes for evidence or outstanding persons - general policing roles to keep the public safe.
“Bodie came from the Metropolitan Police Service in London through a police breeding programme. We’ve got some serving police dogs in Aberdeen that came through the same system as Bodie so we have high hopes for him.”
The young puppy will now go through rigorous training to make sure he reaches the high standards expected of dogs working with the police. It has been five years since the division have taken on a new puppy to replace a retired dog.
Those who make the grade are expected to start working officially when they reach the age of 15 months. By the time he is working on the street he will weigh between 35-40kgs
There are currently eight dogs working for the Aberdeen division, with some of the animals trained in specialist roles such as drug and explosives detection.