WEYBURN – A Saskatchewan Conservation K-9 police dog and handler put on a demonstration for the students and staff of Legacy Park Elementary on Wednesday morning.
Cpl. Taylor Volke and his police dog, Bruce, also were presented with a donation of a flotation vest by the Weyburn Wildlife Federation. The vest is designed for the size of the dog, a Belgian Malinois, and is worth about $500.
Cpl. Volke did a presentation in the school gym first, explaining what Bruce is trained to do in assisting Conservation officers, then outside in Jubilee Park he put on a demonstration.
Among the tasks that Bruce is trained for is doing searches for violators or for missing persons, searching for evidence, and responding to requests from the Protection and Response Team, as well as doing public education presentations.
Cpl. Volke showed a power-point of some of the searches Bruce has done, such as searching for evidence of poaching or hunting on land without consent, in assisting Conservation officers. Evidence can include spent shell casings, and the carcass of an animal illegally shot.
The dog has also been used to search for violators who have escaped custody or evading police, and for missing persons, as was recently done in a search for a missing child.
In the demo outside, Cpl. Volke had Bruce find traces of evidence he had hidden around the soccer field, then showed how Bruce is trained to accompany him or to respond to hand or voice signals during a search.
In one demonstration, he had a group of volunteers walk slowly forward in a line, while he and Bruce interwove between them with the dog following his commands.