Val Vallevand - the man who started EPS' Canine Unit
The Edmonton Police Service Canine Unit has a long and proud history which began with a gifted and ambitious man named Maynard "Val" Vallevand. In 1955 Val joined the EPS with an already great devotion to the training and raising of dogs.
In 1963 Val’s dog Sarge became a member of the Edmonton Police Service and Val became the first EPS canine handler. This was after they were called to a drugstore break-in where the members on scene could not locate the culprit. Moments after arriving Sarge located the culprit hiding amongst some cardboard boxes. Subsequently, Val and PSD Sarge were utilized on a callout basis.
The Canine Unit was officially formed in 1967 and consisted of three teams. At this time the police service dogs were kenneled in members' homes or, when required, at Val’s residence. It was a very close team where each member and their dog were part of the Canine Unit family - that tradition continues today.
In 1977 the Unit moved into a central kennel facility near the Municipal Airport. The unit eventually expanded to nine teams and was responsible for the entire City of Edmonton seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Val retired in 1978 as the Sergeant in charge of the unit and remained a close friend to the members for many years afterward.
On November 14, 1997 after dedicated and exhaustive efforts the Canine Unit, now ten teams strong, moved into a new state-of-the-art facility. The building was fittingly named the Vallevand Kennels in honour of the unit’s founder who passed away on August 1, 1994.
From the First to the First - From Canine's first handler to the Canine Unit's first female handler