Dog handler Greg Robbie and his dog Riggs are hanging up their lead and boots when they step down this month.
Greg grew up in Scotland and always knew he wanted to work with dogs. From the age of 19 he spent seven years working as a police dog handler with the RAF before joining Leicestershire Police in 1997.
He worked as a response officer and firearms officer before joining the dogs section in 2001.
His first police dog was called Ozzie but during his career he has worked with eight dogs.
They have captured and literally left their mark on hundreds of criminals along with finding missing people and evidence which has led to numerous convictions.
He and his dogs have scooped multiple awards and Greg and Riggs appeared together on tv show ‘Body Cam Cops’.
Greg said: “I’m blessed to do what I do. I’ve had eight outstanding dogs and every single one has been different but amazing in their own way.”
Riggs has been a police dog for six and a half years, capturing criminals, finding missing people and recovering stolen property.
One of his first jobs was to track and find three armed robbery suspects who had carried out an aggravated burglary at a pub, and were wanted for a string of similar offences.Riggs tracked from the pub across fields and went into deep undergrowth where he found the three suspects, still armed.
One started to fight with the dog but didn’t win - Riggs bit and detained the suspect, who persuaded the other two to give up. All three were jailed for a total of 45 years for their part in aggravated burglaries in pubs across the county.Riggs and Greg will now be retiring to the Scottish countryside.
Greg said: “The relationship between a police dog handler and their dog is very special and the bond is hard to explain unless you have experienced it. It is more than just a job, it’s a partnership that lasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It can be an emotional rollercoaster but it’s been everything I’ve dreamt of and more.
“Over the years I have lost a bit of me when my dogs have retired or when the time comes to say goodbye - it’s like a little bit of me goes with each one. Every dog you have had will always have a special place in your heart.”
“My eldest daughter’s first cuddly toy was a German Shepherd called ‘Ozzie’ named after my first police dog. That sums up how much these dogs mean to the families, as well as the handlers they work with.
“I want to take a moment to pay homage to my wife Vickie, who is a talented and hardworking Detective Constable and who will be retiring from the police on the same day as me after a long and successful career.
“I want to thank everyone I’ve worked with over the years for their support and friendship. Especially the handlers and of course dogs, both past and present that I have been proud and lucky enough to have served with.”