Police dogs in training have temporarily taken over Babergh District Council’s former home in Hadleigh, as the council seeks to secure the site’s long-term future.
The vacant office building in Corks Lane, which has been empty since the council relocated to Endeavour House in Ipswich in November, began its stint as a training facility for Suffolk Police’s dog section last week.
The facility, which is being provided at no cost, will be utilised by police handlers to put German shepherds, spaniels and Labradors through a programme of training in tracking down people, drugs, explosive training aids, cash, ammunition or firearms.
The first dogs were brought in for training last Monday.
Residents have been told not be alarmed if they see police attending the site at unusual hours, as the building may be used at any time of day or night, to allow the trainee dogs to get used to working on an unpredictable schedule.
Nick Ridley, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for assets and investment, said: “This temporary use of the Corks Lane offices for Suffolk Police dog training is great news.
“They are an important site in Hadleigh, and we are working hard to ensure their future as a key location in the town, but, in the interim, it is wonderful to see them in use for the public good.
“Pc Tony Russell and his team encounter all kinds of circumstances in their role and, if our former offices can help them prepare, we are delighted to make them available.
“This is an interim measure, and we will be updating residents shortly on what comes next at the site.”
Pc Russell, from the Suffolk Police dog section, added: “We’re very grateful for the kind and generous offer of the use of the premises by Babergh District Council by our dog unit.
“It will provide us with a valuable location where we can continue to train our dogs and we look forward to using the site in the weeks and months ahead.”