A K-9 unit is a specialized group of law enforcement officers who use service dogs to perform the responsibilities of a general police officer. In addition to their usual duties, each K-9 officer is also a dog handler, meaning that they have to train and care for their canine partner. The responsibilities of a K-9 officer does not end with his shift. The dog is the police officer’s partner not only at work but also at home. K-9 officers takes full responsibility to provide his canine partner with the opportunity to live long and healthy life.
The duties that a K-9 officer and his dog partner perform can be basically divided into two groups:
General police officer duties:
The general duties mean that the dog accompanies his handler on traffic stops or when responding to calls or emergencies. The canine assists in apprehending suspects and in all other public engagements related to law enforcement.
The K-9 unit is also responsible for carrying out more specific jobs, where the leading role is performed by the police dog. Those tasks include: detecting illegal substances, chemicals or explosives; identify individuals who were in contact with such illicit substances; track and rescue kidnapped or missing persons; The Police Department utilizes a Bloodhound to conduct search and rescue operations. The Bloodhounds are used to find missing children, missing dementia patients, and can also be used to track fleeing criminal suspects. In all cases the police officer and the dog need to work in perfect coordination. Therefore, continuous training is also an important part of the life in the K-9 unit.