QUEENSLAND POLICE DOG ‘QUINN’
Awarded the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia
2017 Outstanding Canine Service Award
Quinn is a male German Shepherd Dog born in 2011 as part of the Queensland Police Service’s Breeding program.
As an 8 week old pup, Quinn commenced development for the ultimate goal of becoming a General Purpose police dog. At this early age he was showing a lot of promise and he was identified to represent the Qld Police Dog Squad’s in puppy development and training on the hit TV show “Send in the Dogs”.
At six months of age I was fortunate to be allocated Quinn and commenced pre course training. At twelve months of age Quinn commenced the official Police Dog Training Course at the Qld Police Dog Squad. This is quite unique as most dogs will not commence course until between 16 and 20 months of age. During the course Quinn was filmed in the kid’s educational TV show, “Totally Wild” and he subsequently past the course with flying colours, being sworn into the Qld police in 2012 and attached to Brisbane Dog Squad.
Quinn’s role is that of a General Purpose (GP) which has the primary role of tracking offenders and apprehending violent/armed persons. Quinn has demonstrated a very high standard of ability in this field and has been responsible for a large number of arrests. It is not practical to list his GP achievements as with the majority of our operational dogs they have a lot of success. However to illustrate Quinn’s effectiveness I have included a number of examples in varying environments.
1. Suspects committed two armed robberies before trying to escape in a stolen vehicle. Local police have attempted to apprehend the offenders however the offenders have rammed a number of police vehicles before escaping. The stolen vehicle was later located with suspects having decamped. The Police Helicopter Unit was immediately involved and two offenders were located and arrested by police. An extensive search commenced, however three further suspects were not located by either officers searching on foot or by air support. Quinn was deployed into the area and over two hours has located the three remaining suspects. Two suspects were located in a make shift tunnel within floodwater debris and the last within bushland. Quinn displayed extreme tenacity to work over an extended time period, during hot weather, working in and around distractions of people and helicopter in a high- risk deployment.
2. A suspect wanted for stealing vehicles, property and committing burglaries of homes etc was intercepted by patrolling police but has escaped into bushland and later swimming across a river in the Wynnum area last seen in bushland. Quinn was deployed into the area and quickly located the suspect’s scent. After a period of tracking the offender was located submerged in mangrove mud and water completely invisible. The suspect was violent and a fight has commenced during the arrest in chest deep water between myself and suspect. This was an extremely dangerous situation and Quinn was immediately deployed in protection of myself and between both of us, and the suspect was subdued.
In July 2013 Quinn’s drive, tenacity and calm nature resulted in his selection to be trained in Human Remains Detection (HRD). Quinn excelled throughout the HRD training with the Instructor specifically commenting that Quinn was the best HRD dog he had trained and made the prediction that Quinn would be successful in this field.
As an example; in December 2013 an international visitor went missing and an investigation was commenced. The Investigators soon identified three persons of interest but the investigation did not progress beyond a missing person investigation due lack of evidence (no crime scene or body). The three persons of interest were due to fly out of Australia on 19 December and Investigators contacted Brisbane Police Dog Squad to try a last ditch effort with a HRD dog. Quinn was deployed into the area in Algester, searching acreage residential and surrounding bushland. Quinn has narrowed his search down and then provided a positive indication (indicating the presence of a buried deceased person. Forensic and Investigators subsequently attended resulting in a body being located buried and confirmed as the missing person. The three persons of interest were arrested prior to being able to escape overseas. The location of the body, although tragic for the family, allowed the victim’s family closure including visiting the burial site.
Quinn provides HRD assistance throughout Queensland and has been involved with a large number of searches relating to missing persons and homicides in this State. Quinn also provides HRD capability on a National level and has deployed in Western Australia and Victoria. HRD searching can be very arduous especially when looking for buried remains and Quinn consistently shows tenacity even in unpleasant environments (such as Western Australia’s extreme heat made worse by the hot sand).
There are currently four HRD dogs within the Qld Police Service. Quinn is the most experienced and successful and he is the only one out of these dogs that has been trained in other capabilities (the other three dogs do only HRD while Quinn does GP/HRD and Tactical).
In 2014 Quinn was selected to be one of 10 Queensland Police Dogs to be trained in Hard Tac (tactical training) aimed at operational support of G20. Quinn successfully completed the training and was one of four dogs selected to provide tactical support in Cairns in October 2014 to Financial Leaders summit (protecting dignitaries from around the world). Quinn later deployed in November 2014 at G20.
Quinn’s successful completion of the tactical training and subsequent ability to work in high stress environments has seen him deploy with SERT (the tactical and anti terrorism Squad) on a number of occasions. Quinn is a unique German Shepherd Dog within the police service dogs due to him having three distinct roles (the majority have a single role while a few have two). Quinn has continually demonstrated a high level of ability in all his roles and as a service dog. Quinn continues in his duties at the Queensland Police Dog Squad.