Staffordshire Police’s Dog Support Unit are taking the lead in search technology.
The team have acquired a new digital FidoCam - a camera unit which can be used by police dogs during searches.
The unit attaches to the dog’s head and transmits footage back to a live colour monitor. The digital gadget precedes an analogue version which had a limited signal range.
Staffordshire Police are the first force to use the FidoCam and it will further enhance the invaluable contribution police dogs make to tactical policing.
Insp Chris Dawson, Dog Support Unit, said: “This bit of kit is fantastic – it attaches to the dog’s head and we can get a live view of what they are seeing.
“There are many situations when this technology will be beneficial to our officers. For example, when searching for a dangerous person we can send the dog into a building with the camera to search for them, when they indicate a find by barking we will be able to see exactly what or who they have found. This will ultimately provide us with more information so we can deal with the situation safely and appropriately.
“It will also be extremely useful when searching difficult or inaccessible areas for missing people – a dog can make its way through dense woodland and undergrowth very quickly. While the handler will maintain verbal contact with the dog this camera will allow them to search vast areas a lot faster.
“The advancements in technology mean that the signal is much stronger and the picture is clear and crisp. The footage can also be recorded and used for evidential purposes.
“I am really pleased we have access to the FidoCam, it’s a really positive tool which I’m sure our officers will make good use of.”