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Trainee police pup named after brave dog killed in the line of duty

Trainee police dog Bryn was paid for through a Facebook group of retired and current police officers. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

A German Shepherd puppy is about to begin his police dog training - in memory of his namesake who was killed 20 years ago in the line of duty.

On Thursday, February 5, 1998 PC Ian Churms and Police Dog Bryn were called to an address in Irthlingborough. It was close to midnight.

Shortly after their arrival with a second uniformed officer, a man armed with a hunting rifle appeared - which he used to threaten them.

PC Churms advised the other officer not to enter the property - suggesting that it would be better for him and PD Bryn to handle.

He then attempted to negotiate with the offender - who opened fire.

PC Churms was shot in the leg - but PD Bryn was fatally wounded. A 42-year-old woman was also shot in the incident.

The offender was later over-powered and arrested.

Two decades on and a group of retired and current police officers decided to band together to honour PD Bryn's bravery.

The puppy - also named Bryn - was paid for through their Facebook group.

The ten-week-old was handed over to his handler, PC Sam Clarke, by Ian Churms, now retired.

PC Clarke, from the Northamptonshire Police Dog Section, who is training Bryn, said: “Bryn’s lovely.

“He’s extremely energetic for a couple of hours then sleeps for a couple of hours. He trains every morning, he’s already sitting and speaking."

It’s a day tinged with sadness to me. I was extremely close to my partner but the puppy helps me to overcome that sadness.

– Former PC Ian Churms

PD Bryn will be entered into the force's puppy scheme and will be trained in general duties.

He will also take part in public order, tracking, searching and firearms support.

He’s brilliant, lovely, I’m already attached to him.

– PC Sam Clarke, Northamptonshire Police Dog Section

Superintendent Sarah Johnson, from The East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS), added: “Police dogs play a huge role in the police service, it’s a huge support to us. They’re a member of our team, a colleague.”