THE CRIMINAL Investigation Department (CID), 110 years after it was formed, is now set to get a new unit — a canine dog squad, specialising in seeking drugs and explosives and searching for lost people and crime scene evidence.
Sources in the CID said the department had felt the need for a specialised canine unit for long and officers had repeatedly approached the state government about the same. “On several occasions, we have approached the government on this. At present, as we don’t have a specific dog unit, we need to approach the Kolkata Police if we need the services of the squad. But as the police handles a high amount of VIP traffic movement, its dog squad is already stretched,” said a CID officer.
Government officials said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has approved the CID’s demand. Initially, the Kolkata unit of the CID would get a dog squad. Next, this would later be extended to Siliguri, Jhargram and Malda. Finally, every district CID unit would get its own dog squad, said officers.
The state CID would approach Swami Vivekananda State Police Academy Dog Squad (SVSPA Dog Squad) — established on February 2, 1957 — to train its dog squad.
An official of SVSPA Dog Squad said each dog undergoes extensive training with its handler.
“A very strong bond develops between the handler and the dog. Each dog is evaluated to see if it has the necessary intelligence and temperament to become a police dog. When trained, the police dog team should be able to do a variety of necessary tasks — ranging from seeking illegal drugs, missing persons, searching buildings for absconding criminals and aid in rescue missions during disasters,” he added.