Apart from its own force and various other agencies, the Delhi Police have decided to bring its canine force into action during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
A Crime Branch team has purchased 75 puppies who will be trained for sniffing and tracking explosives around the Games venues.
Mostly put on VVIP routes, the 50 dogs already with the police were not enough for a city with a population of 1.7 crore, police said.
“We are well on our way on using these pups to meet the requirement of trained dogs during the Commonwealth Games,” said Neeraj Thakur, additional commissioner of police (crime).
Priced at Rs 25,000 each, the puppies are of various breeds —German Shepherds, Labrador and Doberman — and will cost the department about Rs 19 lakh.
The Delhi Police had floated tenders and a Hyderabad firm was selected. Police said unlike earlier incidents, they have opted for pups this time instead of trained dogs.
“These pups would undergo six-month training at a Border Security Forces (BSF) camp in Madhya Pradesh,” Thakur said.
A veterinary surgeon is accompanying the police team.
Taking a cue from foreign countries, the puppies will be micro chipped.
“Micro chipping would ensure that the dogs don’t get mixed when we finally send them for training in January,” said the officer. “It will also ensure differentiation between two similar looking pups.”
The dogs would be trained keeping in mind the needs of a metro, he said.
When serial blasts rocked the capital in September last year, it was left to six dogs to save the day.
“Most of the time, the dogs are on VVIP routes. Last year, one of our efficient dogs fell ill because it was overworked,” said a senior police officer, who didn’t give his name because he wasn’t authorised to speak.