In all the years I have been involved with Police Dogs, the one thing we tried our best to adhere to was the Home Office manual on the training and care of Police Dogs.
This manual of guidance was the bible. Over many years it was amended and modified and known under different names but the fact that it set out its parameters never changed.
Anyone who disregarded the rules deserved to be dealt with appropriately, be it in training, deployment or on matters of care and welfare.
More importantly, if you were not very good as a handler, or lacked the ability to train your dog(s) this could be evidenced and you could face the appropriate, ultimately removal from the world of working a Police Dog.
It appears that in some areas the ‘guidance’ now offered by the current document, despite being a Nationally accredited and accepted document, holds no sway with some members of the management in the CTCC and some parts of it can be disregarded. The inconvenient parts that is.
On the scales of the bigger picture, the one side of following the guidelines to show best practice and to protect handlers, instructors and the organisation is heavily offset by the other side where the state of mind in some areas is that the guidelines are exactly that. Only guidelines which we do not need to follow. Add to that a great deal of risk managing things and all handlers are safe in the knowledge that when their arses are on the line the organisation will be firmly behind them with relevant answers to the questions of why certain ‘guidelines’ may have been selectively ignored.
I hope this never happens as the management responsible for zephyrs of selective ignorance will have moved on and poor handler X may find themselves in the spotlight trying to justify things that have occurred as a result of management ignoring the rules, sorry guidelines.
There have been instances where training has become a dirty word, an activity that produces nothing measurable so can be reduced to provide more time for handlers to become more involved in doing things that can be measured and therefore better managed. Or the management already has a pre-determined agenda, their agenda.
Training is essential and vital.
This is because of a number or reasons.
The fact that the guidelines state so is one reason.
Producing better Police dogs is another.
Ignoring the guidelines for convenience is like juggling eggs.
Eventually someone will drop one.