Met Police share tragic story behind their new furry recruits
Posted on 5/22/2021 8:00 PM
Sergeant Ratana died in September 2020 when he was shot in the chest while searching for a suspect at Croydon Police Station in south London.
The New Zealander moved to the UK in 1989 and served in the Met Police for almost 30 years. Sadly, Ratana was only months away from retirement when he became the first police officer to be fatally shot in the UK since 2012.
Tributes for a fallen hero
Tributes have poured in for the fallen hero, and now the Met Police have found another way to honor one of their own. The Met has called its recent take of police puppies “the Ratana Litter.” And Sergeant Ratana’s former partner, serving police officer Su Bushby, was able to name the German Shepherd’s puppies individually.
Ms. Bushby chose Matiu, Carter and Jonah for the boys, and Kora, Blu, Valentine and Whanau for the furry crime fighters. Matiu was Sergeant Ratner’s first name, and other names include Maori words for tree, root, and family.
The adorable puppies have an excellent pedigree. Their parents are two police dogs called “Storm” and “Pax”. And the new hires have already caught the eye of the best dog in the Met – Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.
“I was glad we asked Su to name the puppies,” said the commissioner. “Matt was loved and respected. This is just one way the Met is remembered for his service and courage. Police dogs and their handlers are invaluable. Thanks to their work, London is much safer. “
A day in the life of a police dog
The puppies will be out on the streets in about three months. They will spend most of their time searching for missing people and sniffing weapons and other dangerous items.
When not on duty, police dogs have a normal domestic dog life with their owners and families. They are usually retired around their 8th birthday.