PD Quinn and PD Turk were pawsitively grinning over the new memorial.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey revealed the Queensland Police Service Animal Memorial on Monday December 15 to honour the contribution serving animals have made to Queensland’s law enforcement.
It was a significant day for our police, in particular the Mounted Unit, Dog Squad and Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad who are partnered daily with their animal comrades.
The Queensland Police Service currently has 18 horses within the Mounted Unit, a number of horses with the regional stock squads, 68 general purpose police dogs, five Explosive Ordinance Response Team (EORT) and 11 drug detection police dog teams.
Senior Constable Nigel Allsopp told the famous joke, “Nobody pats a police car.”
Our serving police dogs and horses form an integral part of policing by performing roles that are critical to the Queensland Police Service, both in an operational capacity and community policing functions.
Most recently, their presence was invaluable during the G20 summit.
Whilst performing various operational duties our animals are sometimes involved in dangerous and unpredictable situations, due to the inherent nature of policing.
Over 1100 offenders have been located this year using police dogs.
Most of all, these animals are our comrades. They have demonstrated true valour and enduring partnerships with our officers.
Throughout our history, animals and police have worked alongside each other. They assist in transportation, protecting, locating missing persons and locating dangerous or illegal materials. In our early days, horses were our patrol cars. We even used camels, oxen and pigeons.
It is important to acknowledge the contribution these animals have made and continue to make to our policing service and to the Queensland community. The memorial is one way in which we can do this.
The animal memorial is a sandstone plinth with a bronze plaque depicting a police dog and a police horse. It is situated in a garden outside the Chapel in the grounds of the Queensland Police Service Academy, Oxley.
Troop horses Idol, Dave, Elvis and Ernie enjoyed the ceremony, honouring their fellow QPS members.
Our friends from the Royal Australian Air Force joined us at the ceremony.