NORTHERN Constabulary’s multi-skilled drug dog ‘Ollie the Collie’ is now officially ready for operational duty and will team up with handler PC Cameron Ross to tackle drugs on the Western Isles.
Thanks to partnership funding from the Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership in January, Western Isles Area Command was able to bring in a new drugs detection dog to replace Buddy who, along with handler PC Neil MacDonald, transferred to the Force Dog Section based at Inverness.
After completing a selection process, PC Cameron Ross, currently based in Stornoway, was appointed the new dog handler for the Western Isles and undertook extensive training at Police Headquarters in Inverness along with Ollie.
PC Ross said: “The introduction of Ollie to the Western Isles will be of great benefit to policing the area. He is a very talented dog and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to handle him.”
Ollie the Collie, who is just over a year old, is trained in a number of disciplines and is currently the only Police Dog in Great Britain to have the capability to detect drugs, firearms and trace missing persons.
PC Ross and Ollie have already worked successfully together on their first deployment, assisting at the Rockness music festival.
And earlier this year Ollie starred in a Northern Constabulary YouTube video during his initial training by Force Dog Section leader Sgt Niall MacLean.
Commenting on Ollie’s arrival to the Western Isles, Area Commander Chief Inspector Gordon Macleod said: “I am grateful to the Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership for the funding they provided enabling us to purchase Ollie and cover the training costs for both Ollie and PC Ross.
“This shows a continued commitment from the partnership to assisting in the detection and disruption of the supply of controlled drugs in the Outer Hebrides.”
Vice Chair of the Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, and NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson added: “The Outer Hebrides ADP is delighted to have been able to provide funding for this vital service. “Ollie is a clearly unique dog with outstanding skills. He will be a great asset to the Western Isles, helping to continually reduce drug use in the islands, and deter drug suppliers from coming to the islands.”