Puppies welcomed into Australian police unit

  • 05/05/2017

The New South Wales Police Force has welcomed a new litter of puppies into its Dog Unit, and kids who are chronically ill will help choose their names.

The seven puppies were welcomed into the force in Sydney on the same day a veteran dog retired.

The two-month-old litter of German Shepherds - four males and two females - bounded around the Dog Unit on Wednesday unaware of their future careers as crime-fighters.

One of the bitches will be sent across the Tasman on puppy exchange to join New Zealand's police dog unit.

Kids from Westmead's Children's Hospital have been given the job of naming the remaining six pups, using only names starting with the letter 'X'.

"We just work through the alphabet," Dog Unit Commander, Superintendent Dean Smith, told AAP.

There are about 100 police dogs working across the state with another 30 in training.

Out in the field, the pooches will track offenders, search for missing persons, and help with public order and high-risk operations.

"Our dogs can be used across all facets of policing and they're there to support the front line," Supt Smith said.

Police Minister Troy Grant said the pups will stay at the Dog Unit until they're 12-weeks-old before entering foster care, being trained and starting work at the tender age of 18-months.

On Wednesday, NSW Police also retired its detection dog Doug, who hung up his collar after joining the force in 2011.