The mission of the K-9 Unit is to assist with deterring crime, apprehending offenders and increasing the safety of the community and officers. The Unit also works to reduce the effects of illegal drug trafficking and increase the apprehension rate of those involved in the use, sale or manufacture of illegal drugs. The police patrol canine is considered a non-lethal weapon and falls under the control of the Field Operations Bureau. The canines’ keen sense of smell allows them to be used for tracking and searches.
Each canine is assigned to a handler, who is a police Sergeant or above. A new handler attends a five week formal canine handler school with their assigned canine. Being a K9 handler requires dedication as he or she will spend countless hours working and training with the canine in order to achieve and maintain a high level of competency. The handler is also responsible for the canine’s health and welfare.
There are 2 police patrol K9 Units within our police department. One unit is Sergeant Harbin and K9 Breston. The other unit is Sergeant Clawson and K9 Joey. Breston and Joey are both from the Belgian Malinois breed of shepherds. This breed of dog is known for being energetic, athletic and having a high drive for reward.