DRPS new recruit is paws to the ground

The Durham Region police force recently gained 17 new recruits, including one with four paws.

After more than five months of training at the Ontario Police College, 16 constables and one police service dog, Taz, received their badges in August.

Taz was presented with his badge by Kelly Ann Quinlan, 19, who met him at a Ronald McDonald House. Taz went along with the DRPS K-9 unit for a visit earlier this year. Quinlan, who has cystic fibrosis, recently received a double-lung transplant, which she had been waiting for when she met Taz.

Police service dog, Taz, with handler Const. Dunlop is presented his badge by Kelly Ann Quinlan. Photo credit: Durham Regional Police Services

Mark Mitchell, the newly appointed police chief of Kawartha Lakes Police Service, got to present his daughter, Const. Emily Mitchell, with her badge during the ceremony.

The recruits have been placed in platoons across the region and train on the job with coach officers for three months.

Durham Region has 871 active police officers, with 304 civilian positions, according to a 2018 budget release from DRPS. It says unfilled positions in the force vary due to retirements, resignations and hiring levels.

– With files from Meagan Secord