STINGER OPERATION: Senior Constable Matt McKinnar with police dog Stinger.
STINGER OPERATION: Senior Constable Matt McKinnar with police dog Stinger. Mike Knott BUN040719DOG2

Squad goals become reality

IT'S no secret that dogs are man's best friend, but for Senior Constable Matt McKinnar and police dog Stinger their bond is helping to fight crime.

 

Constable McKinnar and Stinger are the latest members of the Bundaberg dog squad and they're ready for duty.

He joined the police in 2011 to pursue his passion to help people, and said joining the dog squad was something he'd always wanted to do and since doing so, he wouldn't have it any other way.

Stinger and Constable McKinnar bonded from the beginning and graduated in November last year then spent three months with the dog squad in North Brisbane before joining the squad officer in Bundaberg in late January.

Named after a missile, Stinger is a 3-year-old sable german shepherd, a breed renowned for durability and their acumen for tracking, Constable McKinnar said.

While he said it was difficult to get into the dog squad, he wouldn't change it for the world.

 

Senior constable Matt McKinnar with his police dog Stinger.
Senior constable Matt McKinnar with his police dog Stinger. Mike Knott BUN040719DOG3

Constable McKinnar said it was the autonomy which is afforded to officers in the dog squad and the capacity to attend more tactical and high-threat jobs which sparked his interest in this particular branch of the police service.

"(It's the) best job for me," he said.

Relying on the dog's senses to get you to where the offender is, Constable McKinnar said he tries to go to every job possible to back up the troops.

Constable McKinnar said Stinger had already helped find missing people and aided police when on foot.

Constable McKinnar said like any good partner, Stinger always had his back.

"I've been in situations where I've had to rely on him and he's had my back - it's good," he said.

Constable McKinnar said since last August when they first teamed up in the 12-week training program, there had only been three or four days where they've been apart.

Whether it's obedience or tracking, they are training every shift and when they're not on the clock Stinger is like any other cop of on a day off, relaxing and resting.

"He lives with me 24/7," Constable McKinnar said,

And will be until he retires.

He said police dogs typically work until they are nine years old and then stay with their handlers.



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