City’s K9 Unit relaunced, refocused

Officer Tyrone Moitze with crimefighter, Max, from the K9 Unit.

From the cream of Metro police’s crop, 60 of the best performing officers are now equipped with heavy firearms, high-performance vehicles – and canines, trained in explosive and narcotics detection.
The City of Johannesburg’s Public Safety Department has ‘re-energised’ the K9 Narcotics Tactical Unit, officially launching the specialised team on 21 November.

Metro police officers march at the relaunch of the K9 Unit.

Metro police officers march at the relaunch of the K9 Unit.

This unit will be made up of ‘incorruptible cops’ whose focus will be on fighting the scourge drugs, hijackings and residential and business robberies. This is what the MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun, believes the City needs.
When he stepped into his position, Sun was tasked by Mayor Herman Mashaba to sort out the drug problem in the City. “This unit will be a unit that criminals and drug dealers will fear,” Sun said.
Sun said he regarded the dogs, German shepherds, equally as crime-fighting officers.

Mayor Herman Mashaba at the relaunch of the K9 Unit with MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun receive a salute.

Mayor Herman Mashaba at the relaunch of the K9 Unit with MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun receive a salute.

In a display by a Metro police officer, who is a dog handler, the dogs were commanded to retrieve or indicate hidden narcotics.
Mashaba, during the run up to the 2016 Municipal election, had said he would ensure a specialised unit is formed within the Metro police department. “We cannot accept criminals taking over communities and running them like empires. It is people’s constitutional right to live in a safe environment,” he said.

German shepherds are guided by their Metro police handlers.

German shepherds are guided by their Metro police handlers.

Mashaba pointed out that communities with a lower economic status have seen drug abuse grow over the years. Unemployment, although not the only contributing factor, is linked with drug abuse, he said.
Mashaba added that in more affluent areas, a lower increase in drug abuse was revealed. “Drug abuse represents the deep economic divide within the City,” he said.
In the refocused K9 Unit’s first 100 days, teams will concentrate on certain hotspots across the City.

Trainer, Steve Havenga on stunning Warrior.

Trainer, Steve Havenga on stunning Warrior.

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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