AN AWARD-winning West Midlands Police Dog who had arguably his finest hour in Northfield is retiring.
German shepherd Ska, along with his four-legged colleagues, has been the scourge of countless crooks, chasing down and sniffing out criminals, finding missing people, and uncovering vital evidence, such as weapons and clothing.
Jet black Ska – who turns nine in July – won West Midlands Police’s Dog Action of the Year award in 2014 for leading handler Keith Bennett to a stabbing victim after tracking a trail of blood from her Northfield home to a disused garage.
Because of the bond which develops between the dog and their handler Ska is being taken on as a pet by Keith, the officer he has spent his working life with.
PC Bennett said: “Ska was on duty for 16 days straight during the 2011 Birmingham riots – together we were engaged in some of the most serious public disorder I’ve witnessed. He never flinched, though, and certainly played his part in restoring order.
“I think he’s going to miss his day job.
“In just the last few weeks he’s taken great delight in chasing down a car thief, plus a burglar who went to collect stolen loot he’d hidden in woodland…only to find Ska had got their first.”
That arrest followed a break-in at a home in South Birmingham where an Apple iMac was stolen. Ska found it hidden in undergrowth after a lengthy track over parkland and minutes later detained the burglar who’d returned in the hope of collecting the computer.