Police Commissionerate Bids Emotional Adieu to 11-year-old Sniffer Dog Geetha

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Mangaluru Police Commissionerate Bids Emotional Adieu to 11-year-old Sniffer Dog Geetha, which was involved in assisting the Canine Squad in cracking down nearly 800 cases, finding bombs, and explosives for the last 11 years. It was a sad moment for its handler police Assistant Head constable (AHC) 212 Harish, who was in tears at the final rites of His (Man’s) Best Friend GEETHA, held at DAR Grounds on Sunday, 4 September last rites performed with full police honours

Mangaluru: There was not a single eye that was not moist as the force paid their tributes to their companion. A large gathering of police of Mangaluru Commissionerate on Sunday 4 September bid an emotional final goodbye to their companion of 11 years. The companion, ‘GEETHA’, a Labrador, was appointed as an explosive sniffer dog with the Mangaluru Police department. It had training from 19-7-2011 till 19-7-2012 at CAR (South), Bengaluru. Geetha died on Saturday following a prolonged illness of Cancer/Tumour. Geetha was supposed to be assisting the canine squad during PM Modi’s visit, but couldn’t due to illness. 

Explosive Sniffer Dog Geetha- a labrador was born on 21 May 2011 and joined the Crime Detective Canine Squad on 19 August 2011, and since then was trained under Head Constable Harish. In the absence of Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar, DCP Crime & Traffic Dinesh Kumar joined by DCP (CAR) Channaveerappa B Hadapada, ACP (CAR) A M Upase, RP-CAR B V Kamath, RP-CAR Erasagappa Tali, among other Senior Police Officers, Police Constables and Dog Squad Teams.

My memories go back to 9 June 2021 when I had a few minutes of fun time petting and playing with Geetha-the Sniffer dog under Mangaluru Police Commissionerate, when I visited the Canine Squad Department, but sadly today, 4 September 2022 I had to pay my last respects to Geetha, who died due to tumour and other illness. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Harish the handler of Geetha said, “I took care of Geetha ever since she joined our canine squad eleven years ago. It was a lovable and obedient dog and has assisted us in cracking down on nearly 800 cases in sniffing for explosives, bombs etc. It is indeed a sad day to say goodbye to my great friend, as they say, “Man’s Best Friend”. Geetha will be sadly missed, and it is a great loss to the canine squad”.

Explaining the highly trusting relationship that dogs have with the handler, Harish further said “The only thing that worked with dogs was the reward. The notion that dogs should not be shown too much affection — for fear that they might become soft — was incorrect. Our dogs are sometimes better than humans, they don’t ask for anything in return and are content with just love and affection. We never beat the dogs. Our dogs are like our children. They respond much better to treats and appreciation. We would never ever hit them. They respond when we change our tone. Raising our voices is the extent of the punishment they receive from us. Geetha was very near and dear to me, and I will miss her a lot”.

DCP Dinesh Kumar said, “Geetha had been an indispensable part of the crime detection squad for nearly 11 years and had played an important role in helping the squad team in cracking down on crimes. Geetha had been a vital part of the Mangaluru Commissionerate police dog squad, and it will be sadly missed by its trainer Harish and other squad team members. As of now, we are left with only two sniffer dogs, while two others are in training in Bengaluru, and will join the canine squad in a few months”.

Following the placing of wreaths and flowers on the body of Geetha, and after paying full honours from DCP Crime & Traffic Dinesh Kumar was joined by DCP (CAR) Channaveerappa B Hadapada, ACP (CAR) A M Upase, RP-CAR B V Kamath, RP-CAR Erasagappa Tali, among other Senior Police Officers, Police Constables and Dog Squad Teams.DCP Dinesh Kumar, the dog was buried, and a Tulasi sapling was planted on the grave. It was indeed a sad and emotional moment for everyone in the Mangaluru police force to bid a tearful adieu to a much loved and four-legged Braveheart who had served in the police department for a period of 11 years. Adieu, Geetha!

If at all you make a visit to the Police Commissioner’s office and take a stroll in the back compound, there are chances you could hear some barking coming from the dog kennel, where trained police dogs are housed in comfortable and spacious rooms, with fans running all the time to keep them cool. The sound of dogs barking in the distance is uplifting. One of them is saying something loudly, but somehow, you can tell the complaint is about something trivial. 

With all the orderliness and the sylvan-ness of the campus and the prospect of meeting these cute squad dogs, it is easy to forget that the Mangaluru & DK police dogs have a serious and dangerous job. They assist the police in ways that neither man nor machine can. The cuteness of the dogs belies their ferocity. They are trained to throw themselves through glass windows, enter terrorist hideouts and confront armed criminals. To do this, they need to be lithe and strong and be a weapon for the police.

The Canine squad, attached to Mangaluru police commissionerate, completed a decade recently. I also found out that unlike other dog squads across the state, the Mangaluru police dog squad was the state’s first Canine squad dedicated to detecting narcotic substances (Bengaluru had its first Canine squad to detect drugs in 2017). In 2011, when Seemant Kumar Singh was serving as Commissioner of Police, (the FIRST Police Commissioner of Mangalore Police Commissionerate who took charge in 2010) two male puppies of Labrador Retriever breed were procured from a breeding centre in Kannur in Kerala to strengthen its new Anti-narcotics cell.

HARISH- the Head Constable & Trainer of GEETHA paying last respect to his FRIEND

The second batch of dogs inducted into the Dog squad included Geetha (Labrador Retriever breed), Rosy and Sudha (both Dobermann Pinscher breed)- and now both deceased Unlike their predecessors, Geetha was trained in detecting explosives, (has nearly 800 cases to its credit in detecting explosives) Rosy and Sudha assisted police in cracking crimes (had nearly 500 cases to its credit in cracking down crimes). For the last 11 years, it was trainer Harish of Canine Squad who had taken care and trained Geetha since it was brought as a puppy, and today was a sad and emotional day for Him to see his pet breathe its last- there were tears in Harish’s eyes as the sniffer dog was laid to rest.

(File Photo) Dog Handlers Seen in the Photo L-R: Kushalappa (Armed Head Constable, Mangaluru Commissionerate); Sudha (Doberman Pinscher; Dinesh (Armed Head constable-DK); Ganesh (Reserve Sub Inspector); Sharath (Armed Police constable-DK); Geetha (Labrador); and Ravi Gowda (Armed Police constable)

It should be noted that despite advancements in technology, dog squads are an integral part of policing. In heinous cases like murder and theft, police and detectives still rely on dogs for initial clues. The confidence of the Public also doubles when a dog squad visits the spot. It shows the importance police are giving to the case. It is learnt that Mangaluru Commissionerate has a well-equipped Kennel and very soon it will be upgraded with infrastructure facilities in the dog squad building, which is likely to happen soon.

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