Sniffer dogs perform during the police duty meet at JAP-1 in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
They were 15 but kept a crowd of 500 mesmerised as they welcomed the chief guest with a bouquet, saluted the audience, sat, stood and rolled on the ground on demand, caught a “thief”, found a handkerchief, “discovered” hidden narcotics and jumped through hoops of fire.
As the 10th Jharkhand State Police Duty Meet got underway at the JAP grounds in Doranda on Tuesday, it was the dog squad that stole the show with the canine members of the force displaying why they were considered indispensable when it came to crime fighting.
Other than the 15 four-legged sleuths, there were 103 other participants — 14 inspectors, 28 sub-inspectors, 12 assistant sub-inspectors and 49 constables — who were in attendance along with senior police officers as Speaker C.P. Singh inaugurated the proceedings.
Amid bursting of crackers and balloons being released, personnel from the South Chotanagpur Range, North Chotanagpur Range, Kolhan Range, Koylanchal Range, Palamau Range, Santhal Pargana Range, CID team and Dog Squad took part in the march past, as the audience comprising jawans and senior officers cheered.
The annual event tests the scientific investigation skills of police personnel, a fact underlined by director general of police G.S. Rath in his speech. “Police should change with the times. They should learn to keep up with developments in science and technology as required in investigations, otherwise they will not be able to fulfil the expectations of the people,” he said.
The function started with floral tributes to martyrs and ended with a show in which sniffer dogs presented their talent in detecting explosives, narcotics, sentry duty and jumping through fire in their quest to track down criminals.
Seven-year-old labrador Bobby, a veteran member of the CID team, presented a bouquet to the Speaker, who said police personnel should respect the oath they took when they joined the department.
“I am impressed when I notice policemen working round-the-clock though law stipulates just an eight-hour day for a workman,” Singh said in his tribute to the force.
During the duty meet, which will conclude on December 14, there will be competitions to select participants for the All India Police Duty Meet scheduled from February 8 to 15 at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
The competition categories will be forensic science examination, medico-legal examination, police photography, crime investigation law and rules and court judgment examination, finger print development, lifting packing and forwarding of exhibits, police portrait, police observation, computer literacy and dog squad examination.