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A Chat with Our Furry Crime-fighters
From explosives and drug detection to guard duty and anti-crime operations, the Police K-9 Unit is ready to put its best paw forward. Hear from two K-9 trailing dogs in this exclusive interview!

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Furry crime-fighters of the Police K-9 Unit: Meet Ole (left) and Xion! PHOTOS: Jermaine Ting, Desmond Ang

As we approach the kennel, the enthusiastic barking of the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) four-legged heroes can be heard. These cute and feisty canines are none other than the trailing dogs of the Police K-9 Unit. I’d heard a lot about them, but never actually met them before. Until now! I had the rare opportunity to sit down with Ole and Xion for an interview, during which I managed to sniff out some of their insights as members of the K-9 Unit.

Thank you for your time. Please introduce yourself. 
Hello! I’m Ole, a five-year-old Labrador Retriever, and I’ve been sniffin’ for about three years now!
Xion: I’m Xion. I’m a Labrador Retriever as well, and I’m seven years old. I’ve been in service for five years.

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The highlight of Ole's day: Having fun with his human partner! PHOTO: Jermaine Ting
Take us through a typical day for you at work. 
Ole: We start the day with grooming and cleaning, before moving on to training. Next up comes the most important part of the day, having fun with our human partners!
Xion: Of course, we’re always on stand-by for whatever duties come our way, and ready to move out at a moment’s notice. 

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About to take a whiff of the decoy's belongings, Ole is ready to trace its scent! PHOTO: Jermaine Ting

Can you tell me more about your training?
Xion: We do trailing exercises along a 400m stretch. Our human partners will also stimulate real-life scenarios for us by sending out decoys. We take a whiff of the decoy’s belongings and –   
Ole: – Off we go to trace the decoy’s location! It’s pretty ruff. We do get our reward after training though – the ball! 

What challenges do you face in your work as trailing dogs?
We get distracted when the members of the public come over to pet us and fawn over how cute we are. Un-fur-tunately, this can hinder us when we’re working.
Xion: Another challenge is the humid weather in Singapore, which causes the scent left by suspects to diminish faster. We also get tired too, due to the heat. 

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Xion with his eyes on the ball. PHOTO: Jermaine Ting

What are some of the cases you’ve helped to crack?
Ole: There was one case in January 2019 where a suspect had hidden in many different places at a housing estate, leaving his scent everywhere. Thanks to my strong sense of smell, I managed to pick up a definite trace of him. Along with my human partner, I eventually nosed my way to a block of flats at Senja Road, where the subject was spotted and arrested for abusing drugs. I almost went mutts sniffing for him! 

What do you love most about your work as K-9 trailing dogs?
Ole: Taking a bite out of crime, of course! But I also like playtime and rewards. I work hard for the ball! 
Xion: Same here. I also appreciate the care and affection of our human partners. 

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K-9 dogs work with a range of SPF units and Home Team Departments to fight crime. PHOTO: Jermaine Ting

What happens when you retire as trailing dogs?
Xion: We usually retire at the age of seven. Members of the public can now adopt us under Project ADORE, and offer us good homes. :)

Last but not least, are you a good boy?
Ole and Xion: Woof! 

About the Police K-9 Unit
The Police K-9 Unit has dogs trained specifically for explosive detection, drug detection, guard duty and anti-crime operations. Besides supporting the Police Tactical Unit in public order operations, the dogs also assist the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, Central Narcotics Bureau and Singapore Prison Service in their operations at checkpoints, ferry terminals, airports and penal institutions.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Jermaine Ting
  2. 11 April 2019
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