Cold Lake’s police dog didn’t take much time off in 2020.
Harp spent 912 total hours deployed in the field and was part of 108 captures last year.
“They [police dogs] just love to work right. And they’ll go forever, so we definitely have to manage it. If it is a hot day, and we think it might be a longer track, then we’ll call in another dog,” said Cst. Jaques.
Harp springs into action when there is a missing person to find or when tracking down a violent offender.
That was on display when the Alberta RCMP social media feed shared a story of Harp finding a missing 5-year-old on March 19.
The boy was missing from the Elk Point area and it took just a few hours for him to be back with his family.
“I went there with Harp and was able to use Harp to be able to locate him in a shed on the property there. He was safe and sound, he was just hiding out in the shed and we were able to safely locate and return him to this family,” said Cst. Jaques.
Harp is funded by the City of Cold Lake and is one of two police dogs that service the region–the other being provincially funded out of the St. Paul RCMP Detachment.
For example, Cst. Jaques was in Boyle on a search warrant file when the call to find the young boy came in.
“We go all the way to Boyle and then down to Wainwright. And then basically, up to kind of the Conklin area, bottom end of Fort McMurray area, and then to the border of Saskatchewan,” he said.
“They call it the Eastern District, but it’s a decent-sized area.”
In the Cold Lake area, Harp was involved in 128 files in the city, M.D., Cold Lake First Nations, and Elizabeth Metis Settlement. Chasing down suspects in the bush, Harp’s longest track was 16 kilometres.
Looking ahead, the goal for the local Police Dog Service is apprehending criminals and lessening crime.
“We always want to be successful and help all the communities including Cold Lake and by catching people that are committing criminal offenses or finding missing people.”