Hampshire Dog Handler recognised in honours list

Hampshire Dog Handler recognised in honours list

Published by Jack Deery at 10:00am 28th December 2019.

3 minute read

Kevin Saunders has been recognised for policing services provided to rural communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Special Constable Kevin Saunders, who is a Search and Resuce Dog Handler, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list. 

He has devoted thousands of hours to developing the search and rescue teams across the county, and relies on two four-legged friends in his work. 

He currently has two Border Collie working dogs, who assist him in the search for missing persons, 11-year-old Zak and three-year-old Rusty.

Special Constable Kevin Saunders Dog Handler  with Zak - 4 (Hampshire Police)
11 year-old Zak is one of Kevin's trusty companions

The 37 year-old has spent seven years volunteering with the search and rescue team and was instrumental in the setup of Britain's first collaborative Special Constable Search and Rescue team, a model which is now being replicated in forces across the country.

He leads the team of Hampshire Special Constable Volunteers, while also working as an alarms engineer in his day job. 

Kevin said

"I am absolutely honoured. It's not something you expect to receive. It's recognition for me doing something that I am massively passionate about.
 
I am so proud of the work the Special Constable Search and Rescue team has done. Personally, I have been involved in search and rescue for about 14 years now, and I always wanted to be a police officer.
 
While serving in the Territorial Army and completing a seven month tour of Iraq, I had seen working dogs and when I got back I knew I wanted to work with dogs myself.
 
It's been a whirlwind ever since."

He mainly helps search in rural areas across Hampshire and has been recognised in the past for saving a man's life in 2015 and locating a vulnerable elderly person in a remote location in 2012. 

Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said:

"I would like to give my personal congratulations, and those of all his colleagues across the Constabulary, to Kevin.

His work and influence is well known throughout the force and amongst the Search and Rescue team. 

For a full list of local honours visit our website.

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