Essex Police Dog Unit demonstrate their ultimutt skills

Essex Police - the dog section

Video shows how the Essex Police Dog Unit have evolved from two dogs to over 40 dogs with specialist skills.

As part of Essex 2020’s celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM), Essex Police are showcasing the abilities of their many teams who are constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to help people, keep them safe and to catch criminals.

Today’s video features the Dog Unit, which was formed in 1953 with two dogs – a Doberman called Remoh, and Senta, a German Shepherd. Plus the two officers, PC Pete Cousins and PC Dan Hare. In June 1955, they made their first arrest after attending a burglary at Cherry Tree Public House, in Mersea Road, Colchester.

Today the Unit, which consists of 27 members of staff, provides all year cover to the entire county, providing support to almost every operational department in the force.

Essex Police has more than 40 working police dogs who help to make around 1,000 arrests a year. There are general purpose dogs, firearms support dogs, search dogs that are able to find drugs, firearms and cash and explosive search and forensic evidence search dogs.

A forensic evidence search dog could be seen providing assistance to detectives in ‘Murder 24/7’ – a documentary between Essex Police and the BBC (which can still be viewed on catch-up).

Technological advances have enabled cameras to be put on firearms dogs to give a dog’s view of building searches.

Most importantly, training is completely reward based and has adapted to suit the evolving nature of crime.

Did you know? A dog’s sense smell is 40 times greater than a human’s. This means Essex Police dogs can find criminals two hours after an incident has taken place.


Essex Police are recruiting police officers, special constables and detectives. Visit Essex Police careers if you want to learn new skills and become part of the team.