Alberta RCMP police dogs captured over 900 suspects in 2020, and were kept busy in part due to their work tracking rural property crime suspects.
RCMP said in 2020, police dog teams responded to 2,800 calls for service which included about 650 calls involving firearms or other weapons; 570 calls for violence-related offences; 450 calls for missing people; over 700 tracking assignments that resulted in 400 captures; and over 950 calls for property crime related offences.
When it comes to rural property crime, dog teams have a primary role in locating and apprehending suspects.
Alberta RCMP Police Dog Services is comprised of 18 teams strategically placed throughout the province. Teams are trained to track, as well as search for suspects or missing persons, crime scene evidence, firearms, controlled substances and explosives.
All Alberta RCMP Police Service Dogs are purebred German shepherds.
RCMP has been breeding German shepherds since 1999, and are able to produce enough puppies to satisfy their training needs so no dogs are need to be purchased.
Generally, one in three puppies will become an RCMP working dog, or breeding female.
RCMP said dog teams will continue to respond to calls over the holidays and thanks them for working tirelessly to keep Albertans safe in 2020.