Police have lined up to remember a canine crimefighter, described by one officer as the “most trusted and loyal dog” they have ever worked with.
Last week retired police dog Yeoman sadly passed away at the age of almost 13 following illness. He and his handler, PC Paul Rogers, had worked together for around six years.
Yeoman originally started his policing career with Norfolk Constabulary in 2006 but was returned to his breeder after he didn’t get along with their handlers. It was their recommendation that the German Shepherd should not work as a police dog.
However, PC Rogers – who has been a handler for 14 years, and an RAF police dog handler previously for eight years – picked him up the day after his return and immediately had a connection with the dog. They completed their training together the same year and then hit the streets.
PC Rogers, who works for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Dog Unit, said: “One night there was a report of two people attacking an ATM with hammers and axes outside a cinema in Peterborough.
“On our arrival I saw the men and they then ran off in different directions. Yeoman went after one and me the other. Such was his ability that we detained both.”
He added: “On the men’s conviction at court, the judge made particular mention of Yeoman’s role and commended him.”
Yeoman’s reputation as a formidable crime-fighter will be remembered by all who came into contact with him.
PC Rogers remembered an occasion when an officer requested immediate assistance and said: “A lone officer had made an arrest but was quickly surrounded by a large group.
“Yeoman and I were first to arrive and his presence quickly got the crowd under control and dispersed, preventing any harm coming to the officer.”
In his time serving with the unit, Yeoman found numerous burglars in the act, tracked and detained countless suspects fleeing from stolen vehicles and assisted officers at public events and protests. He once even managed to detain a Roman soldier.
PC Rogers explained: “We were called to Peterborough museum after an alarm activated and entered the building. Yeoman was sent to search the premises in order to ascertain whether or not any intruders were on site. He soon detained someone – a mannequin dressed as a Roman soldier!
“I didn’t realise he still had the soldier’s arm in his mouth until we left the museum!”
Yeoman retired early from the team after it was found he had arthritis; however he remained with PC Rogers and his family in their home in Cambridgeshire.
“Although he no longer worked with me, he was still very much a loved member of the family,” said PC Rogers.
“He was truly an awesome dog with a fearsome reputation amongst criminals and fellow officers! We quickly became inseparable and he protected me from serious harm on a number of occasions, including once at a protest where he promptly relieved an aggressive person of their placard after it was thrust at us.
“The loss of Yeoman is absolutely heart-breaking and I miss him terribly, but I am glad I had the great privilege and honour to work alongside such a fine partner. He was the most trusted and loyal dog I have ever worked with.”
PC Andy Brumby, a senior dog instructor with the unit, also paid tribute to Yeoman and said: “What a police dog. He was one of the best.
“It’s the end of an era.”