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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Woof Deal for North Yorkshire Police's Canine Recruits

PC Martin Gayles and PD Thor 080714

1:16pm 8th July 2014

North Yorkshire Police’s latest canine crime-fighting duo are set to play their part in keeping North Yorkshire safe. 

New dog handler, PC Martin Gayles has just completed his initial training course partnered with his German Shepherd, PD Thor, a general purpose police dog, trained to sniff out suspects, search property and find missing people.

PC Gayles, will take over from North Yorkshire Police’s longest serving dog handler, Scarborough based, PC Vince Gillon.

PC Gillon, is due to retire in September after 30 years’ service as a police officer including 22 years as a dog handler. He is currently training two new police dog recruits – trainee sniffer dogs Jacob and Atom.  

PC Gayles and PD Thor are both licensed as a team and will work together across York and North Yorkshire, helping to keep our communities safe. PC Gayles joined North Yorkshire Police in April 2005 and worked as a response officer in Richmond for nine years. He said: “Combining policing with my love of dogs makes this role a dream job for me.

“We’ve just completed our licensing course together and will spend a couple of weeks doing more training before we’ll be out and about helping to keep North Yorkshire safe. I’m looking forward to the challenges and satisfaction the job will bring.”

PC Vince Gillon and PC Martin Gayles 080714

Retiring officer, PC Gillon began his career as a Richmond beat officer in September 1984, before transferring to Ripon and Harrogate, then on to Scarborough.

Among the many searches for missing people, drugs and criminals, he describes one of the most memorable and poignant incidents of his career as the search for an IRA gunman in 1992 following the fatal shooting of Special Constable Glenn Goodman near Tadcaster. He said: “That was one of the darkest days in the history of my career, especially as I knew and worked with PC Sandy Kelly who was also shot and injured.”

The recipient of two awards for bravery including disarming a man with a knife and dealing with a firearms incident in Masham, PC Gillon is now looking forward  to retiring. He added : “I’ve had a fantastic career, it’s been challenging, interesting and rewarding. Martin is just at the beginning of his career and I wish him every success for the future. He has a brilliant career ahead of him.

“I'm now looking forward to playing golf and walking my retired drugs detection dog, Cocker Spaniel, Buster.”

Sergeant Simon Whitby who heads North Yorkshire Police’s Dog Section, added: “Police dogs play a vital role in the fight against crime and protecting our communities. I’m pleased that we are in a position to replace PC Gillon on his well deserved retirement.”

North Yorkshire Police currently have 26 dogs which include 16 general purpose police dogs, five drugs detection dogs and five explosive detection dogs

There are five puppies currently being assessed under the puppy walking scheme.

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