New team ready to help sniff out crime in Peel Region


Published November 25, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Peel Regional Police have a new crime fighting team.

Constable Danielle Sterns and canine officer Riggs are now on the job.

The team is ready to go after an extensive four month training period that brought the constable together with the 2-year-old male Belgian Malinois (or Mal for short).

The need for the new partnership was created when police dog Diesel retired from the Canine Unit earlier this year and a replacement was needed. That, combined with Sterns’ eagerness to join the team, made it come together.

“Because of COVID we weren’t able to go to the US to find a dog like we normally would,” explained Sterns. “We were able to find a dog from a retired Peel officer through Quebec and it’s worked out well.”

After auditioning a number of other dogs, Riggs was the one that impressed because of his intelligence and drive. After initial behavioural and medical testing, he was approved for the program.

Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said Sterns is well qualified for the job and has adapted quickly to her new role.

A 10 year police veteran, Sterns has built up an ever-growing list of credentials by starting off in the cadet program before quickly becoming a constable. She has since been involved in foot patrol, neighbourhood policing, criminal investigations, searching for missing people and homicide cases.

“The 13 member Canine Unit is a very important part of the Peel Regional Police,’ said Chief Duraiappah. “Not only do they track down fugitives and those fleeing crime scenes, they can also help locate missing persons in ways humans can’t do. The abilities of these units to advance public safety are tremendous.”

Chief Duraiappah recently presented (Police Service Dog) PSD Riggs with his police badge, officially recognizing him as a member of the Peel Regional Police Service.

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