One Security Dog explains his role: it’s a dog’s life
How did security dog Marley get into the security profession? What does this job entail and what advice would he give others looking to follow in his paws?
I first met Marley one bright sunny summer morning in Canary Wharf just before he started work with his handler John.
GB: Marley, how did you initially get into the security profession?
Marley: I was born in Hull and as a pup I grew up in Halifax, West Yorkshire with a lovely lady and her children. As I was quite a boisterous young pup with bundles of energy, she soon saw the potential to divert my energy elsewhere. So, she contacted South Yorkshire Police when I was 18 months old, and after passing my Police Accredited Explosive Training, I was transferred to John at ICTS.
GB: What does your job entail and what is the best thing about your role?
Marley: Keeping people safe in Canary Wharf, being part of the Canary Wharf Management Team, networking, meeting new people and developing relationships – so much so I now have my own business cards.
GB: You really have your own business cards?
Marley: Yes, I’ll get John to give you one when we get back to the office.
Plus, I get free private medical, 25 days‘ holiday a year, free grooming, an unlimited supply of balls and I’m chauffeur driven everywhere in an air-conditioned vehicle – plus, I get to work with humans.
GB: What has been the highlight of your career?
Marley: Passing the Police Accredited Explosive Detection Course with South Yorkshire Police, working at cool places such as Canary Wharf, Emirates Stadium, NEC and a variety of red carpet events where I have met many celebrities.
GB: What skills do you believe are important in your role?
Marley: You need to be dedicated, have stamina, combined with a nose for the business and the ability to achieve something humans can’t.
GB: How does technology support you in your role?
Marley: I’m microchipped, which provides an audit trail of my training and confirms my authenticity, plus John also helps me with his radio, body cam and link to the control centre/CCTV.
GB: What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the K9 sector?
Marley: Be prepared for hard work, early starts, make sure you get the relevant qualifications and have the appetite to develop and learn new things.
GB: How has your role changed since you first started?
Marley: The threat and crime space has changed over the years, so I have needed to adapt and learn new smells/substances.
GB: Have you completed your GRIFFIN/ACT training?
Marley: After securing all my relevant K9 qualifications/certifications I made sure John was equally as well qualified/licensed. So in-between chauffeuring me to and from work (and being an excellent ball thrower) he added his SIA licence plus Griffin/ACT training to our partnership.
GB: How would you like to see your career progress?
Marley: To be Top Dog.
NB: my thanks to Jed Marshall, Paul Ash and John Graham at ICTS for this article and allowing me to spend time with them and, of course, ‘the boisterous one’.
Graham Bassett, Editorial Committee
City Security magazine
See also related articles in our Guard Dogs archive of articles.