A PUPPY which was donated to North Yorkshire Police in memory of a York police officer has qualified as a crime-fighter.
Police Dog Patto is a German Shepherd and was given to the dog section 14 months ago at just eight weeks old by the family of PC Keith Pattison, who died in January 2013.
PC Pattison died unexpectedly from injuries sustained falling from a loft, weeks after the incident, and his wife and two children donated PD Patto as a way to remember him and ensure his name lived on in the force.
Members of PC Pattison's family, including his daughter Katie and two-year-old grandson Finley, met with PD Patto after he qualified to sniff out suspects, help find missing people and work in the community.
Katie said: “We are delighted that Patto has now passed his exams and is a fully qualified police dog. It’s great to see how he has grown up from being a cute puppy into a strong and highly trained dog.
“My dad loved dogs and always wanted to join the Dog Section but sadly never did. Patto is a great reminder of my dad – he would be thrilled to have another crime-fighter named after him. We’re looking forward to hearing about PD Patto’s policing adventures as he helps to keep us all safe – just as my dad did.”
PC Pattison served with North Yorkshire Police for 13 years, working in the Selby District as a uniformed constable, supporting the communities of Tadcaster and Selby. He also worked in the Force Control Room, and PD Patto will serve throughout the county.
PD Patto is licensed with his handler, PC Chris Walker, who is also a police dog trainer and is based at Northallerton, and is one of 17 general purpose dogs working with the force. Police also have five sniffer dogs trained in searching for explosives and seven drug detection dogs.
Sergeant Simon Whitby of North Yorkshire Police’s Dog Section, said: ”PD Patto is now a fully licensed police dog helping to keep North Yorkshire safe. He has the perfect temperament for a police dog and passed his exams with flying colours. I would like to reiterate our thanks to Keith’s family for gifting PD Patto to us. He is a fitting tribute to a valued and much missed colleague.”