In what's been described as an 'historic moment in local policing' the region's first-ever permanent NSW Police Dog Unit has officially commenced work at Inverell, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today taking the opportunity to meet the latest additions to the force, Police Dog Atlas and Police Dog Wags.
In 2018, Mr Marshall initiated a campaign to have facilities to house a Police Dog Unit included in the design for the Inverell Police Station, which is part of a $108m Multipurpose Police Station Program of capital works.
"Until now the New England Police District has never had its own dedicated dog unit to assist in keeping the community safe," Mr Marshall said.
"This is a huge win for our men and women in blue whose ability to track down, arrest and charge would-be criminals is now greatly enhanced."
Police Dog Atlas and Police Dog Wags moved to Inverell at the start of January with their handler and since then they have made their presence felt, participating in a number of local police operations.
"NSW Police Dogs are amongst the best trained in the world and provide assistance in a variety of circumstances including searches and drug, firearms and explosive detection," Mr Marshall said.
"I believe the addition of two police dogs, based at Inverell, will be invaluable in acting as a deterrent for petty crimes such as theft, break-and-enter and trespass."
"I want to personally welcome Police Dog Atlas and Police Dog Wags and their handler to the New England Police District and look forward to seeing the benefits these important asset will deliver to our community."
Mr Marshall thanked NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller for fulfilling his commitment to the police district by appointing the new officer.
"During a meeting with Commissioner Fuller in Inverell last year he gave the indication the appointment of this unit was imminent and today I can say he has delivered," he said.
"While the unit will be based in Inverell, it will be an extraordinary resource, which will be available for police in every community across the Northern Tablelands - from Mungindi to Ebor and up to Tenterfield."