Greater Manchester Police’s tactical dog unit (TDU) has announced its latest crime-fighting pairing with a Bury-based officer.
PC Jessica Voiels is one of three newest recruits to have joined the TDU in February having previously worked as a response officer in Bury for five years.
On day one of her course, PC Voiels was paired with police dog (PD) Zeus, a German Shepherd who turns two-years-old in January.
PC Voiels and Zeus are a force-wide resource but tend to cover the Bolton and Wigan regions of Greater Manchester if there is a spike in specific crimes.
The role of a dog handler can be challenging but was one that PC Voiels always wanted to do.
“I wanted to be a dog handler because, from being young, I’ve always loved dogs,” she said.
“I’ve got dogs at home, I’ve always had dogs, and then I always wanted to be a police officer.
“So, when I joined the police and I saw the work the dog handlers were doing and the jobs they go to, I just loved the work that the dogs themselves do as well.”
The duo have had some interesting and rewarding jobs since working together, but PC Voiels’ most memorable so far was when Zeus located a machete and discarded clothing from a suspect.
“There was an incident in Bolton, where a car had made off from some officers,” she reminisced.
“The passenger that had run off had been detained around the corner somewhere, but he had a different top on, so he’d got rid of his jacket.
"There was a belief that he might have thrown some other items on the path of the way he’d gone.
“They asked me and Zeus to do a search in the area that he’d ran, and Zeus swiftly located a machete that he’d discarded in someone’s front garden, and the clothing that he’d thrown as he was running away.”
Shutting off after spending the day tackling crime is something that could be hard for a police dog.
However, not for Zeus, he knows exactly when he can have a well-earned break.
PC Voiels said: “Balancing work life and home life is easy with him because he seems to know when he’s at work as soon as I get to work and open my boot, he starts barking. Whereas when I get him home, he seems very chilled, and he knows he’s at home now, I can play.”