Victoria police Const. Eric LeQuesne and his dog Diesel recently competed at the 2015 Canadian Police Canine Association K9 trials in Medicine Hat.

Victoria police Const. Eric LeQuesne and his dog Diesel recently competed at the 2015 Canadian Police Canine Association K9 trials in Medicine Hat.

Victoria officers finish strong at national K9 competition

Victoria police Const. Eric LeQuesne and his partner Diesel won the tracking event of the 2015 Canadian Police Canine Association K9 trials.

  • Sep. 29, 2015 3:00 p.m.

— Pamela Roth

With a stiff wind blowing across the prairies of Southern Alberta, Victoria police Const. Eric LeQuesne and his furry, four-legged partner Diesel make their way through a wheat field, hunting for a criminal.

They have no idea which way the crook has gone. All they can do is rely on Diesel’s nose to stay on the scent and find any evidence along the way.

Tracking suspects connected to crimes is the bread and butter of the work conducted by officers with the canine unit. So when LeQuesne and Diesel won the tracking event of the 2015 Canadian Police Canine Association K9 trials in Medicine Hat this month, it brought a tremendous sense of pride.

“It was definitely a nice moment for the two of us,” said LeQuesne, who hit the streets with Diesel in January 2014. “You get those days when you go to work and you don’t have a lot of energy, he’s got the energy to pick me up and he’s always willing to go to work. He’s just eager to please.”

LeQuesne attended this year’s trials with colleague Const. Sue McLeod and her dog Uno, where they competed against nearly 30 teams from 15 agencies across the country.

Over the course of three days, the skills of the dogs and their handlers were put to the test with various scenarios, such as searches for break and enter suspects in a playhouse theatre, and searches for evidence in a salvage yard full of rusted cars.

“We were dealing with a lot of elements there ­— wind, different terrain. Added into that, there was rattlesnakes to watch out for,” said LeQuesne, adding dogs had to find six pieces of evidence, ranging from as small as a key to a cell phone, during another exercise.

The dogs are trained to locate items that have a human scent and lay down once they find what they’re looking for.

“Some of the hides were fairly difficult — in really tall grass and underneath some culverts. You had to read the dog and make sure he was doing the right thing. I work with a dog every day and it amazes me to watch his ability and what he’s able to do.”

McLeod and Uno, who’ve been paired for at least five years, finished second in both the evidence and compound search, and fifth overall in the trials.

The competition was won by Edmonton police Const. Murray Burke and his dog Maverick, and wrapped up with a public event showcasing what the dogs and their handlers can do.

The Victoria police canine unit is made up of four constables who work with four german shepherds that are trained to search for drugs and firearms. The sergeant of the unit works with two labs – one that also searches for drugs and the other for explosives.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Six people are said to have escaped injury and are currently receiving assistance after an early Sunday morning fire in Central Saanich displaced them. (Central Saanich Fire Department/Twitter)
Early Sunday morning fire in Central Saanich displaces six individuals

Cause of the fire on Galbraith Close remains under investigation

Metchosin ecologist Andy MacKinnon is raising alarm bells for arbutus trees, as many are falling victim to a fungus called leaf blights. The leaves and branches of the trees are turning brown or black and then dropping off, eventually killing them. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
Vancouver Island arbutus trees fighting for survival against parasites

Many trees weakened, turning black or brown and dying, says local ecologist

Applied theatre researcher Dennis Gupa wearing a traditional Filipino malong at a local beach in Victoria. (Credit: John Threlfall)
UVic researcher uses theatre to empower marginalized voices, fight climate change

Dennis Gupa looks to create new modes of expression, knowledge sharing

Sooke resident Lesa Cro started up a new pet waste removal business. Cro goes to yards in the region, removes all of the waste and then composts it, so that it doesn’t go into landfills. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
New pet poop-scooping business picks up in Sooke

Poop No More service taking the ‘dirty work’ out of lawn cleaning

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read