The K-9 Unit was started in 1991 and consists of a sergeant who supervises five K-9 handlers. Each of the six personnel care for and handle, a trained and certified police K-9. The partner-dogs are cross trained in patrol functions and narcotic detection.
All of our police canines undergo a rigorous screening process, which includes testing in sociability, play drive, aggression, and agility abilities. Typical breeds we use are German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. Only the most suitable canines are chosen for our Basic Handler School. During the Basic Handler School, a new handler and the untrained canine are teamed together and undergo a strenuous program in which the teams are instructed in basic obedience, agility, handler protection, narcotics detection, tracking, building searches, area searches, and basic veterinary first aid. The dog teams are required to pass all aspects of training to become certified and must re-certify annually with a department instructor.
Canine Unit Responsibilities
Patrol dogs are used to find and apprehend criminal suspects. They can search buildings, vehicles, and open areas, track suspects that have fled from a crime scene and locate evidence that a suspect(s) leaves behind or discards. Using their keen sense of smell, a patrol dog can search faster, safer, and more accurately than officers can alone.
Our K-9 teams are assigned throughout the city, typically working the nighttime hours. Our K-9 officers provide support for patrol officers and handle a variety of high priority calls. We have trained K-9 teams that respond to SWAT call outs and assist as needed in a support role.
Our K-9 teams are cross trained in narcotics detection as well. They are trained to find the odor of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The teams are responsible for locating narcotics that have been hidden in homes, cars, and open areas.
LCPD's K-9 Unit can be contacted via email or by phone at (575) 528-3030.