The West Midlands’ police force has one of the biggest police dog training centres in the country. Based at Balsall Common, the Police Dog Training Centre is responsible for training 69 handlers and their dogs. Dogs are also bred at the Centre.
A range of breeds, including Alsatians, Rottweilers, Springer Spaniels and Belgian Malinois, are used by the force to accompany police on the beat and for special operations, such as drugs, firearm or explosive searches.
In addition to providing tuition at their Balsall Common base, the training centre is regularly on the look out for alternative venues, such as large empty premises, farms and sports facilities, where they can set up realistic training scenarios.
Police Constable Ned Barker, an instructor at the Centre, is currently putting teams of four officers and their dogs through their paces at the Thomas Walker building.
He said: “We rely on the goodwill of the community to provide us with training venues.
“There are a number of buildings which make up the Thomas Walker site. It has large open areas, factory and warehouse space and office accommodation across 1.4 acres. We plant both men and matter around the building, which the dogs are then tasked to find.
“Dogs provide invaluable back-up to police officers. They are quick, efficient and safe. We are grateful to companies like Chord for enabling us to use their facilities to ensure that our dogs are trained to the highest possible standards.”