Vader is a fearless four-legged super sleuth who loves fighting crime in far north Queensland. He’s an eight-year-old German Shepherd who’s been in over 80 arrests in the past three years. He’s top dog with the Queensland Police dog squad in Cairns. His most recent effort was last night, when he caught an alleged car thief near Mulgrave Road.
Vader and his handler, Sergeant Dave Raymond, patrolled our ABC Far North studio this afternoon. They work and live together. At home, Vader is a much loved family pet, but at work he’s a very focused crime-fighter. “He’s very affectionate with the family.
“He’s just like a pet at home but if you try and cross him that’s where you’re going to run into trouble.”
“Police dogs feed off your feelings so if I get an adrenaline rush he does as well. There’s a trigger for everything with these dogs.”
In the line of duty, Vader has leapt into moving cars, rappelled down steep terrain and confronted potentially violent offenders. A lot of his work involves routine patrols – so it’s lucky Vader shares that canine love for a ride in the car. But no – he’s not allowed to put his head out the window.
Later this year, Vader will receive a medal recognising his five years police service.
Listen to Sergeant Dave Raymond talk about working with Vader, what makes a good police dog, and the relationship between a police sergeant and a police dog.