The Woodstock Police Service (WPS) is welcoming its newest four-legged officer to the force.

Police service dog Taz is the latest member of the WPS Canine Unit. He is a three-year-old sable German Shepherd who joined the force from Foxfield K9 in the Ottawa area after he did not work out as a house pet in Quebec.

Taz got his name thanks to a ‘Name the Police Dog’ contest with the Woodstock Christian School and L’Ecole Ste. Marguerite Bourgeois.

On Tuesday, Taz was introduced to the Woodstock Christian School as the school’s grade six class picked his name.

The WPS developed a succession plan for the Canine Unit in 2021 to offer a smooth transition between police dogs.

Police dog Striker has served the City of Woodstock for the last seven years and will now be showing Taz how it’s done.

During this transition, Striker was able to continue servicing Woodstock while Tax trained and completed the required certifications.

Taz has successfully completed the General Detection Certification as well as the General Patrol Certification and began responding to calls requiring tracking and detection skills in January.

With Taz fully in his new role, Striker will be moving toward community service, public education and training officers identified as potential future canine handlers to help maintain his health, WPS said.

The new role will allow Striker to service the community and stay active as he moves toward retirement.

Anyone interested in meeting Striker and Taz can do so at the Southside Park for the Canada Day Touch a Truck event on Friday, July 1.