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Tuesday 1 March 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National


Cook Islands to get new border patrol duo

Cook Islands probationary police constable Saitu Saitu, pictured left, with drug detection dog Hoss and Detective Sergeant Vainenooroa Ngametua, has made a commitment to strengthening border security.

Saitu left Cook Islands bound for New Zealand on Friday to undertake formal training at the NZ Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham.

The newly-appointed trainee dog handler for the Cook Islands CIB (Criminal Investigation Branch) drug detection unit will spend three months in NZ, undergoing specialist operational training with a new dog, to be assigned to the Cook Islands Police Service.

Saitu underwent a couple of weeks of preliminary basic training with Ngametua, as an introduction to what to expect in NZ.

Police spokesman Trevor Pitt said the building of the relationship with the dog would be an integral part of the training. 

“It’s expected the pair will travel home together, upon completion, and NZ Police certification will follow. 

“That’s the general outline, that will restore the unit to the two dogs and two handlers. 

“Drug detection is a vital part of CIB operations and working in support of the border enforcement agencies, particularly Customs.”