Puppies on parade in memory of Bromley police hero Keith Palmer
PUBLISHED: 13:00 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 31 May 2019
A litter of puppies, named in memory of the former Bromley police officer killed in the Westminster terror attack, have officially "passed out" as fully fledged police dogs.
German shepherds Barney, Rufus, Ludo, Riggs, Max and Freya were born at the Met Police Dog Training Establishment, Keston in 2017. Their parents are also serving police dogs.
The litter was named the Palmer Litter in memory of Pc Keith Palmer, who was murdered during the Westminster terror attack in 2017. Barney, Rufus, Ludo, Riggs, Max and Freya's names were all chosen by Pc Palmer's family.
The dogs joined their handlers Pcs Gareth Head, Stu Field, David Perkins, Steven Douglas, Justin Wiseman and Bridget Tottman-Shaw to demonstrate to Commissioner Cressider Dick the skills they have learnt during their training which began when they were about seven weeks old.
After receiving their police dog licence from the Commissioner, they will officially hit the streets of London in June. As general purpose police dogs they will spend most of their days tracking human scent, helping to find suspects of crime and locating weapons - like guns and knives.
They join more than 200 operational police dogs already attached to the Met Operations TaskForce. About half are German shepherds or Belgian Malinois working as general purpose police dogs, with others specially trained to support armed operations and public order policing.
The Met also has nearly 100 English springer spaniels, cocker spaniels and sprockers who work as specialist dogs, finding forensic evidence including drugs and money.
All Met police dogs live at home with their police officer handlers and their families. This litter, like all German shepherds, is expected to retire at about eight years old.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said: "It was an absolute pleasure to watch these exceptionally well trained and skilled dogs officially join the Met family as fully fledged police dogs.
"Every single day, all over London, police dogs are protecting people, helping to arrest suspects, finding weapons and securing vital evidence against violent offenders.
"Most of their amazing work gets very little public acclaim and we must never forget the extraordinarily important part they and their capable and courageous handlers play in keeping us all safe."