Some of the hardest working members of a police force don’t get paid in money. They are the furry members of the canine (K-9) unit. K-9s are used to protect officers, search for criminals, help find missing people, and search for drugs.
K-9 Unit Training
The K-9 unit needs top-notch training to do their job. Once they reach 14-24 months old, dogs with basic obedience and bite work training are ready to join the force. Police departments spends 3-4 months training with the dog 5 days a week to teach it patrol and narcotics detection. The dog is then required to pass a mandatory state police dog certification in patrol work, obedience and possibly drug detection. The training continues at least once a week throughout a dog’s career and the dog must pass the certification each year to be able to keep working as a police dog. Since the department has rigorous standards when selecting and purchasing a new dog, the majority of the dogs make it through training and certification.
Not only do the dogs undergo extensive training but so do their human partners. Each K-9 handler must learn new techniques in proper searching and study dog psychology, canine case law, and emergency medical treatment for their canine.
It doesn’t stop with training. The average yearly cost to care for 1 police service dog is $1,500 a year in food and veterinary care. Necessary equipment includes bite suits, bite sleeves, agitation muzzles, concealed bite sleeves (all equipment for patrol training), lots of tennis balls or other toys for rewards for narcotics training, waist leashes, long tracking leashes, flea and tick treatment, shampoo, patrol harnesses, special “fur saver” collars, and narcotics (marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin) which is obtained with a court order after arrests and drug cases are adjudicated.
K9 Unit Donations
Your donation helps honor and support the K-9 Unit with training and equipment needs.