Aylesbury police dog and his handler retire together

Dog handler PC Pascoe has retired after 33 years, along with popular firearms support dog PD Griff
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An Aylesbury police dog handler and his loyal hound have retired together, after working together for the past six years.

In his 12 years as a dog handler in the Joint Operations Unit of Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary, PC Jan Pascoe has handled six police dogs.

But his latest canine partner, firearms support dog PD Griff, has become a bit of a poster boy for the force and acquired quite a following on social media.

PC Pascoe and PD GriffPC Pascoe and PD Griff
PC Pascoe and PD Griff

Jan said: "Griff has had a fabulous career and his results over the years have been well documented and reported on.

"He is a popular, wonderful character who has rightly earned his rest after being the brains of all our work."

German shepherd Griff is retiring with his handler, while Jan's other dog, search dog Laurie, has gone to a new handler.

Jan said: "Laurie has been somewhat overshadowed by his bigger crewmate but his work ethic and results are just as commendable.

PC Pascoe with Griff and search dog LauriePC Pascoe with Griff and search dog Laurie
PC Pascoe with Griff and search dog Laurie

"Laurie has left us for his new handler in Hampshire and Griff has retired with me."

Jan's dog handling career began 33 years ago, when he joined the Royal Air Force Police as a dog handler in 1989, at the age of 19.

He learned his trade at RAF Lyneham, in Wiltshire, handling three different military working dogs during his time there.

In April 1993, Jan was seconded as a dog handler to the Royal Australian Air Force to support an operation in Perth and Sydney, and then in July of the same year he was detached to the Falkland Islands dog section.

Jan winning the Northern Area (Scotland & NI) Trials in his military daysJan winning the Northern Area (Scotland & NI) Trials in his military days
Jan winning the Northern Area (Scotland & NI) Trials in his military days

In 1994, he was posted to RAF Kinloss, Scotland Dog Section, as an operational handler. He was also a member of the Dog Demonstration Team, travelling all over Scotland and England performing at military open days and shows.

In 1996, Jan won the Northern Area Military Working Dog Trials, and later that year he was promoted and attained a trainer's post at RAF Halton, near Aylesbury.

In 2001, Jan joined Thames Valley Police, at the age of 31, and was posted to Aylesbury as a shift constable and area beat officer for Quarrendon and Meadowcroft.

In 2004 he became a member of the team responsible for high-profile policing, executing arrest warrants and targeting prolific offences across Bucks, and in 2006 he was selected for a place on the Tactical Firearms Group, responsible for the Tier 1 response to firearms incidents across Thames Valley.

Royal Air Force Police Dog Sam jumping through hoops as part of the Dog Demo TeamRoyal Air Force Police Dog Sam jumping through hoops as part of the Dog Demo Team
Royal Air Force Police Dog Sam jumping through hoops as part of the Dog Demo Team

It wasn't until 2009 that Jan became a dog handler again - beating off competition from constables across Thames Valley applying for just two posts.

Jan said: "I guess for me, it meant a return to my military roots and I have never looked back.

"I have been responsible for providing police dog support to incidents from Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and High Wycombe down to Chiltern & South Bucks.

"I also worked around Thames Valley and Hampshire, including the Isle of Wight, from supporting football fixtures, search operations to high-profile events."

A self-confessed 'chatterbox', Jan said: "I have always put myself out there in the community to be a friendly face and listened to the needs and concerns and where possible tried to resolve issues and difficulties.

"I have always tried to provide the service I would expect for myself or my family if we were in need."

Jan added: "I have been so fortunate throughout my career and have loved it all, on the whole.

"Yes, there have been some unfortunate tragedies and some distress while having to witness some of the worst of behaviours people can sometimes display.

"However, it has been a privilege and an honour to have looked after the communities of Thames Valley and, specifically, Aylesbury Vale."

Jan's last act as a policeman was on his very last day of service, when he bravely helped rescue a stranded motorist from the A41 in the middle of Storm Eunice.

Jan said: "All I had to do that day was meet with my supervisor and hand in my warrant card, all my uniform and all the equipment.

"On my way to meet them, I came across a lady stranded in the middle of the A41 between Bicester and Aylesbury with a burst tyre on her car.

"She was in a really dangerous spot amidst the awful weather and quite terrified.

"I jumped out and managed to change the wheel for her and see her safely on her way.

"I was absolutely drenched but, do you know what? I am so proud that the very last thing I ever did as a police officer was simply to stop and help someone in need."