Lower Mainland RCMP and Delta police are wishing “legendary” Police Service Dog Garner a happy retirement after six years with the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service (IPDS).
After completing training at the RCMP’s Police Dog training Centre in Innisfail, Alta., Garner — and his handler Const. Chris Cottrill, a Delta police officer seconded to the integrated team — embarked on a memorable career protecting and serving the region’s nearly two million residents before hanging-up his harness for the last time on Jan. 11.
“Known for his thunderous bark (and handsome face), Garner’s drive and desire to work was unmatched,” reads an RCMP press release announcing Garner’s retirement.
“Whether he was whining out of excitement or spinning to get out of the truck to chase the bad guys, Garner’s energy and presence will be greatly missed by his colleagues on the IPDS team.”
Garner and Cottrill attended countless calls for service over their six-year partnership, resulting in 246 successful apprehensions, including the tracking and locating of three homicide suspects in two separate occasions as those incidents unfolded in real time.
|Police Service Dog Garner smiles next to $2 million worth of narcotics he and his handler DPD Const. Chris Cottrill, intercepted as the contraband was being smuggled across the border into Canada. (BC RCMP photo)|
Garner’s largest single bust was $2 million worth of narcotics being smuggled across the border into Canada.
“It was a bust that Garner was especially proud of, as you can see by the photo of him smiling and posing with the stash of illegal contraband,” the press release said.
Throughout their six-year partnership, the team’s work lead to multiple charges and convictions in numerous major cases in communities throughout the Lower Mainland, including their home jurisdiction of Delta.
Garner and Cottrill also had the opportunity to work with the Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team, attending several high-risk calls in the Lower Mainland and in special call-outs throughout the province.
“Garner was beyond fearless in protecting his handler and anyone else in danger, and courageously saved his handler’s life on several occasions,” the release states.
In retirement, Garner will live as family pet in his handler’s home, his days “filled with a lot of well-deserved rest and his favourite pastimes of two-ball (playing fetch with two balls — by the time he brings the ball to his handler’s feet, another ball is already airborne) and swimming.”
Cottrill, meanwhile, will begin training with a new dog in the near future.