By Mikey Jones and Daniel Bird
One of the UK’s first ever staffie police dogs has joined the force.
Two-year-old rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cooper, who is specially-trained to find drugs, cash and firearms, has set tails wagging at Staffordshire Police – where he is the first staffie to ever join the force.
The pooch, who lived on the streets as a stray before being rescued by the RSPCA, joined the service earlier this year and has already helped hunt down more than £250,000 of heroin and cocaine.
And handler PC Tim Moss said the four-legged cop is also great at busting negative stereotypes around his breed.
PC Moss said: “Cooper was on the streets, he was picked up by RSPCA and was with them for seven months.
“It’s an amazing story – one day he was in the kennels, and now he’s a fully-fledged police dog.
“I have had Cooper since March 2018 and he joined the force the following month.
“I’m extremely privileged to have him – he’s an amazing dog and we have an amazing bond.
“It feels really good to have a staffie on the force.”
PC Moss said Cooper is one of the best police dogs in Staffordshire and has become something of an A-lister his county, being invited on school tours and to meet the public.
But he said despite this, not everyone realises how incredible staffies can be and said despite the negative attention the breed can bring, this is normally down to the owners – not the dog itself.
He said: “Owners don’t always have experience with this breed of dog, which can be where some of the stereotypes about staffies come from.
“The houses that we go into mainly have staffies so it’s a good step to be on side with them.
“Having PD Cooper when doing a raid because it’s a great ice breaker, people are always shocked that we are working a staffie – as either they have or they know someone who has one.
“But it’s weird, I have a Belgian Shepherd too and people stay on the same side of the road when I’m walking him, but when I’m walking Cooper people tend to cross to the opposite side.
“Staffies are very unique. I can say with PD Cooper he is very keen to learn and eager to please, he has a very high ball drive, and is very energetic.
“These are what is looked for in a working dog.”
Cooper was immediately welcomed into PC Moss’ family as a family pet, not just a working dog.
He said: “When people found out I was getting a staff, they were made up. My partner and child love him.
“When I heard there was a staff coming into the force, straight away I knew I’d love to have him.
“We have an incredible bond.”