A shocking demo for youth

2019-07-30 06:01
Sergeant Alain Petersen hosted a demonstration of the capabilities of the K9 unit for learners at Marine Primary School. PHOTOS: Racine edwardes

Sergeant Alain Petersen hosted a demonstration of the capabilities of the K9 unit for learners at Marine Primary School. PHOTOS: Racine edwardes

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Stun grenades, smoke bombs and a very well-trained Rottweiler made for an impressive demonstration by police at Marine Primary School last week.

In an effort to curb the crime rates in high-risk areas, the City of Cape Town’s K9 unit visited the primary school in Ocean View on Thursday 25 July to inform the Grade 7 learners of the consequences of crime, with a special emphasis on the capabilities of their specially trained dogs.

Sergeant Alain Petersen opened the presentation with a talk to both educate the learners and gauge their knowledge on the types of crimes that take place – from the use of drugs to the use of weapons.

Speaking to the learners on the role played by the dogs, Petersen said: “We don’t defend ourselves with our hands, we use our dogs. Before we draw this firearm here, we have a dog to use – and I must trust that dog with my life.”

He added that dogs are used because they can find criminals in a way that people cannot; using their heightened sense of hearing and smell.

“The demonstration is for the upliftment of the community; to tell them about the consequences of their actions, who they mix with and also to show them what we do with the dog unit – which dogs we use and why we use them,” Petersen continued.

The learners were able to get a first-hand experience of the techniques used by the police officers of the K9 unit to confuse and distract criminals. 

Petersen, assisted by Sergeant Lincoln Olivier, shocked the learners by setting off stun grenades and smoke bombs; which in a real-life situation would be used to cause a diversion while the trained dogs sniff out criminals.

Conan is the five-year-old Rottweiler, a patrol dog for the unit, who showed his capabilities and sheer strength as he was unleashed on Petersen, who was only protected by the specialised gear used to train the dogs.

Joshua Holies, a learner who attended the demonstration, was impressed by the display of skills from Conan. He was also encouraged to remain on the right path. “They taught us discipline and what drugs can do to us and the sergeant also told us what would happen if we’re not disciplined and obedient,” he said.

In conclusion, Petersen explained that his passion is what motivates him. “I love this job,” he said, adding that educating the children is of the utmost importance to help reduce crime.

The demonstration was organised by Sergeant Riedewaan Isaacs and Sergeant Leon Fortuin of Ocean View Police Station, in collaboration with the Cape Town K9 Unit.

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