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Distinguished Dog Squad handler retires

Sgt Bill Applebee
Throughout four decades of service, Sgt Bill Applebee has shared his dog squad office with seven canines. Photo: Queensland Police

Bundaberg Police Dog Squad Sergeant William “Bill” Applebee is calling it a day after 40 years of distinguished service.

With his father a dog handler in the British Army, Sgt Applebee always had an interest in dogs and it only took him six years in the service to live out his dream of becoming a dog handler.

He's the longest serving police dog handler in Queensland and Australia.

Sgt Bill Applebee
Australia's longest-serving police dog handler Sgt Bill Applebee is retiring after 40 years of service. Photo: Queensland Police

Throughout these four decades, Sgt Applebee has shared his office with seven dogs, with Angel being his last and retiring with her handler.

When looking back on his career as a dog handler, Sgt Applebee said he has had a great time, and believes it is a great career.

“I love my job, I love what I do,” he said.

From dealing with the highs and lows of policing, Sgt Applebee has put himself and his canine offsider in numerous dangerous situations, tracking offenders involved in violent offences such as murder and armed robberies.

As a general purpose dog handler, Sgt Applebee and his dogs have not only been responsible for tracking and searching but also drug searches.

Acting Inspector Cameron said Sgt Applebee will be greatly missed by everyone at the Bundaberg Police Station.

“Bill is very well liked and respected by everyone at Bundaberg Station and his dedication to the job and community has always been his first priority,” Acting Inspector Cameron said.

When officially retired, Sgt Applebee plans to spend his time travelling, catching up on some gardening and some possible knee replacements due to his extended physical career.

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