Now with four dog handlers and four dogs (Pilou, Narco, Shayze and One), the dog brigade of Montigny-le-Bretonneux is a real plus for the city’s municipal police. “It was a campaign commitment, recalls Éric-Alain Junes, deputy mayor in charge of citizenship and security. We wanted to give new impetus to a brigade that has existed intermittently since the 90s. Their versatility is a real plus for our municipal police, both in terms of deterrence and prevention. »
The dog handlers have all the necessary equipment available, including a kennel to park the dogs, equipped vehicles and a training ground near the Municipal Technical Center (CTM). “Like us, they need to be in good shape to intervene, to do cardio, to repeat situations to react as quickly as possible, to get used to the heat of cars, etc., underlines Christelle, dog handler and owner of several dogs. All this strengthens both the bonds between the master and the dog, but also the cohesion of the group, for us as for the dogs. We are much more united, we go for walks, swim, etc. »
Working against everyday incivilities, in missions of prevention, surveillance, securing public services or roads, on recreational, sporting or cultural events, Christelle, Pascal, Julien and Corentin participate daily in recreating a real police of proximity. “Dogs are particularly dissuasive, especially when we intervene on gatherings. Nearly 50% of people prefer to walk away directly for fear of the reactions of dogs. However, they are not aggressive, emphasizes Christelle. They also protect us by establishing a security perimeter. And, believe me, with their reinforced muzzle, when they come at you, we usually say that it looks like a good Mike Tyson right. »
But the dogs also create a closeness with the population, which regularly “asks us what breed they are, if they are kind, obedient, etc. Some ask to be able to pet them, ”say the dog handlers.
A displeasing decree
Eagerly awaited by the profession, the decree governing the dog brigades was published on February 20. But it is far from unanimous. It even causes a stir among dog handlers and municipalities. Contrary to what was practiced until then, the communities will become “owners of the dogs, which brings an additional constraint for the cities which wish to set up a canine brigade, assures Éric Piot, the municipal police chief of Montigny- le-Bretonneux. This goes against common sense. The consequence is that many cities have already abandoned the idea of creating a brigade for this reason”. If the decree is derogatory for the canine sections constituted before its publication, it imposes a progressive compliance. In addition, “this will generate additional costs, such as the purchase of dogs, their accommodation, the care of the animal at night and on weekends, etc. “, underlines the chosen one.
Today, in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, the dogs live in families with their masters. They are totally socialized and remain the responsibility of their masters, at night, in the evenings, on weekends and during holidays. Thanks to this, there is a real emotional bond between them. “It’s our best partner, assures Christelle. They are faithful. We are all enthusiasts. We love our dogs. We live with them and, in the end, the training never stops. They are both a weapon, a pet, etc. We have a real emotional bond with our dogs. “They will come to the coal with us and they never go alone. And if we feel like we’re going to hell, we don’t go there, ”adds Pascal, another of the dog handlers.
As a reminder, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, only Élancourt already had a canine unit within its municipal police, with three police dogs in its night brigade.