10th May, 2021

Brave police dog and dedicated handlers handed top awards

Sarah Mason 21st Apr, 2021

POLICE dogs and their handlers have been handed top awards for their dedication and bravery.

PC Paul Hopley and police dog Stark were awarded Dog Action of the Year for their outstanding bravery and commitment at a host of incidents including one in Handsworth in November 2020.

Stark, who was born as part of the Games Of Thrones litter at the Balsall Common West Midlands Police dog training unit, was on the trail of suspected burglars at 4am on November 14 when a thug emerged from his allotment hiding place with a machete.

Sadly, Stark was attacked repeatedly with a machete and was lucky not to lose his eye.

Despite his injuries, the three-year-old German Shepherd continued to do his job.

He has made a remarkable recovery and since then, has successfully passed his firearms course.

Along with PC Hopley, the pair were recognised for their outstanding bravery.

PC Hopley and Stark were joined by PC Andrew Rudnicki who received the Dog Handler of the Year award.

PC Rudnicki was nominated by his fellow officers for being an inspiration and dedicated member of the team as he is always eager to promote the fantastic work his colleagues and their four legged sidekicks do each day.

Andrew handles PD Vapour, a German Shepherd who is the father of the NHS litter, and PD Rascal an explosive search detection dog.

Both dogs consistently find criminals and are a credit to their handler.

Chief Superintendent Lee Wharmby said: “PC Rudnicki, PC Hopley and PD Stark have shown their commitment and bravery time and time again and it’s an honour to present them with these awards.

“I join the rest of the department in saying that we are all extremely proud of them.”

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