The Manitoba First Nation Police Services is proud to share they've hired the force's first aboriginal K9 handler.
Acting Police Chief Bruno Rossi says this fills a large need within the service, and they're excited to have a new member.
"We selected some interested members, they went through an interview and testing, and we selected our first First Nation dog handler by the name of Travis Assiniboine," says Rossi. "He is now in training with the Office of the Fire Commissioner."
Zion is the second dog that is joining the MFNPS. Currently, K-9 Ceto is an active member of the force, but the additional set of paws will make sure that all centres have easy access to the service.
"We had a dog that Winnipeg (police service) took back because our handler had resigned. In good faith, they ended up paying for this five years later, for paying for Zion," says Rossi. "So it worked out well and, OCN gets a canine, and the Winnipeg Police Service was a big part of that."
Zion will be useful in helping the MFNPS be able to track down and secure drugs, weapons, and suspects. Rossi says this is a big deal for the squad.
"We are very proud to be able to say that we have a First Nation canine handler. He's very proactive and active in the communities. Before being selected, he was in the schools with the kids, and he was doing great things in his duties," says Rossi. "He went through rigorous testing, physical testing, and then interview as well."