Wellington Scoop

Police dog handler, with her dog, launches new book for children


News from NZ Police
Paws, pupils and police today celebrated Wellington Police dog handler Senior Constable Sue Burridge’s new junior fiction book ‘The Adventures of Police Dog Ace’.

Senior Constable Burridge with help from Hades, her real patrol dog; Acting Assistant Commissioner Sam Hoyle and eight Year 5 and 6 pupils from Titahi Bay’s Ngati Toa Primary School, launched the book at the New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham. The students were selected by their teachers to take part today for their effort and achievement in a creative writing exercise.

‘The Adventures of Police Dog Ace’ is Senior Constable Burridge’s second junior fiction book, and follows the mischievous Ace, a young German Shepherd dog, who takes over from his dad Zeus as handler Maddy’s new canine patrol partner.

There’s plenty of fun and challenges along the way in this fictional romp, mixed with a touch of real time experiences. Ace has big paw prints to fill but he’s determined to succeed. He learns new skills, gets some welcome advice on how to cope with a bully, chases after thieves and burglars, overcomes his fear of flying to help in a vital search and rescue mission and draws inspiration from a wartime dog who parachuted into enemy lines.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Hoyle praised Senior Constable Burridge for work as an experienced dog handler, and for her creativity in the book.

“Without revealing too much of the plot line or themes running through the book, Sue has subtly woven in some excellent safety advice, including seeking help from a trusted adult when you’re bullied.”

This is Senior Constable Burridge’s second junior fiction book and follows ‘The Adventures of Police Dog Zeus’ published in 2014. The illustrations for both books were by Sergeant Stephen Guy, a Central District police officer.

“I’ve always had a love of books, animals and adventure,” she says. “Encouraging children to read and to use their imagination in writing opens up a new world of opportunities, and takes them to a happy place.”

What’s real and what’s not in ‘Ace’ is up to readers to decide, however the book touches on wider topics including bullying, dreams can be achieved through hard work and the value of teamwork and respect.

“Becoming a police dog handler has been my dream job, even as a kid,” Senior Constable Burridge says. “I love my job and if I can encourage children to achieve their dream, that’s pure gold for me.”

Senior Constable Burridge grew up on a farm near Wairoa. She joined the police in 1999 and has been a dog handler since 2005. She’s one of two women police officers working as police dog handlers.

1500 books have been printed and can be bought online for $16 plus postage through: www.thecopshop.co.nz

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