The newly-formed Integrated Canine Service (ICS) has made its first arrest after service dog, Obi, teamed up with Victoria Police to take a suspect from an attempted knifepoint robbery into custody.
According to a release from the Victoria Police Department, patrol officers received a report of an attempted knifepoint robbery at a convenience store in the 1300-block of Douglas Street.
Police say the suspect was reported to have brandished a knife, demanding cigarettes from the staff before fleeing.
VicPD was also told that the same suspect had been in the store 30 minutes prior to this incident, reportedly stealing a number of items at that time.
Patrol officers attended the area immediately and were able to locate a suspect matching the description from witnesses nearby in the 700-block of Johnson Street.
According to police, the suspect refused to comply with the direction of patrol officers until Obi and his handler attended the scene.
VicPD says the arrival of the Police Service Dog caused the suspect to quickly comply and police took the man into custody without incident.
In addition, the suspect was arrested on an outstanding unendorsed warrant for an indecent act that occurred in Vancouver.
Officers transported the man to cells at VicPD where he was held in custody.
As a result of Obi’s assistance, police are crediting the ICS with its first arrest.
Early this week, the Saanich Police Department and VicPD announced the formation of the Integrated Canine Service – a team of six Saanich Police and VicPD canine handlers and their eight police service dogs who serve the communities of Saanich, Victoria, and Esquimalt.
Both police forces say that the partnership provides canine service with “greater efficiency and better value” to the communities.
VicPD estimates that the integration allows for 1 to 1.5 police officer positions to be re-deployed to support other front-line operations.