Friday, 3rd July 2015
When visiting teams of employees to find out more about what they do for our clients, it’s not unusual to be invited to become more hands-on with their work.
In the past I’ve been locked in a prison cell and sat next to an advanced driving instructor as he showcases high-speed evasion manoeuvres .
But when the manager of a canine training centre asked if I wanted to become involved in a demonstration of how their dogs subdue fleeing suspects, at first I wasn’t sure if he was serious.
And then, after agreeing, I wasn’t sure if I was either.
I was visiting the G4S Canine Services centre near Luton, where they train dogs for one of three roles – detecting drugs, detecting explosives and general purpose, which are typically used on security patrols and catching criminals.
Wearing a padded sleeve that covered my right arm up the shoulder, and guided by centre manager Lee, I moved my arm across Ruby’s face. Immediately, she leapt up and her jaws fastened on the padded fabric, remaining there until instructed otherwise by Chris.
Told to struggle as a suspect would in this situation, at one point I was carrying nearly Ruby’s entire weight – it was almost like lifting a grown man. I couldn’t imagine being able to get away if I was a real suspect. The moment that Chris gave the appropriate signal, she released her grip.
Then, as if once wasn’t enough, we did the exercise a second time. I definitely felt the after-effects of my live demonstration – for two days afterwards I could barely move my shoulder!