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K9 Operations For Patrol
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K9 Operations For Patrol


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  • 1. K9 Operations for Patrol
  • 2. Capabilities
  • 3. Objectives
    • Give each officer a working knowledge of the various uses of a Police Dog.
    • Realize the limitations and capitalize on abilities of a Police Dog.
    • Patrol Officer will be able to assist in maximizing the usefulness.
  • 4. Topics of discussion
    • Building Search
    • Area Search/ Perimeters
    • Tracking / Cover Officer
    • K9 Apprehensions
    • Evidence Recovery
    • Riot / Crowd Control
    • Drug Sniff’s
    • Pursuits
    • Report writing
    • Safety around K9
    • TASERS
  • 5. Building Search
    • Establish perimeter
    • Radio for K9 search of building
      • Searches faster and reduces risks to officers
      • Can locate subject behind locked doors, ceilings, etc.
    • Don’t allow entry into building during search, including owner/key holder.
    • Time is on our side – longer subject is hiding, the more odor emanating.
    • At least one cover officer should be assisting.
    • K9 announcement needs to be made before and throughout the search.
    • Loud speaker might be helpful (i.e. squad, helicopter).
  • 6. Area Search / Perimeters
    • Point of entry unknown / no track found.
    • Do not pursue unless sure of catching subject.
    • Establish a tight perimeter.
    • Radio for K9 assist.
    • Dog can locate a subject hiding in weeds, under deck, etc.
    • Wind / weather might determine start point.
    • K9 announcement needs to be made before and throughout the search.
    • Loud speaker might be helpful (i.e. squad, helicopter).
  • 7. Perimeters
    • Goal of perimeters is to contain the subject, let K9 work.
    • A quickly set and secure perimeter should force subject to “lay down” or hide.
    • Don’t make the perimeter too small, easier to tighten up a perimeter than expand it.
    • All officers / handler will be on one radio channel.
    • Keep radio traffic to a minimum.
    • Mutual aid might be needed, supervisor’s decision.
  • 8. Perimeters
    • All emergency and white lights should be on, not darked out.
    • Try not to distract K9, shining lights, driving around.
    • Stay in squad, don’t contaminate area.
    • Supervisor or perimeter officer should coordinate air unit, if used.
    • Supervisor / handler will decide how long to hold a perimeter.
  • 9. Tracking
    • K9 will search for a human scent / altered ground and begin tracking.
    • Direct handler to the last place suspect was seen.
    • Don’t pursue unless sure of capture.
    • Handler might track on lead or off lead.
    • Article from suspect / missing person is helpful, but not necessary.
    • Weather plays a big role in tracking, refer to handler for specifics.
  • 10. Cover Officer
    • Stay about 15-20’ back.
    • Don’t focus too much on K9, look to other areas to cover.
    • Don’t get a head of K9 team
      • Opening doors.
      • Moving in front of dog.
    • Be tactical, light and noise discipline.
    • When directed by handler move into cuff subject.
    • Search with long gun, if searching for dangerous subject.
  • 11. Evidence Recovery
    • Dog will close in on human scent left on article.
    • Can be used to find
      • Gun, money bag, keys, etc.
    • K9 Alert – Varies by K9
      • Passive alert – K9 lay’s on ground next to article
      • Aggressive alert – K9 retrieves article
    • Call K9 first, don’t contaminate area.
    • K9 Request needs to be timely.
  • 12. K9 Apprehensions
    • Dept Policy: This apprehension refers to a canine officer intentionally releasing or directing a canine to apprehend a suspect who the officer believes has committed or is about to commit a felony or violent misdemeanor criminal act, or to apprehend a mentally ill or mentally defective person to prevent self-injury or injury to another .
  • 13. K9 Apprehensions
    • Let the handler and K9 do their job.
    • Don’t encourage K9.
    • Don’t run in the area when K9 is released for apprehension.
    • The cover officer in most cases will need to handcuff/secure the subject.
    • Don’t move to subject until directed by handler.
  • 14. Riot / Crowd Control
    • Use of K9 to move a crowd is only authorized if used in a defensive action.
      • Effect a rescue of person from a violent crowd.
    • Use of a K9 at the scene of a disturbance where there a handful of people does not constitute crowd control, if utilized for officer safety and not to move a crowd.
  • 15. Drug Sniff’s
  • 16. Drug Sniff’s
    • Use of a canine to locate narcotic odor is a sniff, not a search.
    • Don’t search if K9 is to be used (contamination).
    • Advise handler of any narcotics found or hazards seen.
    • Move / keep subjects out of sight when K9 is working.
    • Remove any animals from the area.
    • Refer to handler for legal updates, if unsure.
    • K9 alert is Probable Cause
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  • 21. Cash Sniff’s
    • Cash in circulation might have trace drug residue, but a K9 is trained to find drug odor, not residue.
    • K9 teams must train for cash sniff’s.
    • Officers should be careful not to contaminate cash prior to sniff (i.e. store or transport with drugs).
  • 22. Pursuits
    • K9 unit should move to the front of pursuit to prepare if the suspect(s) bail from vehicle.
    • Non-K9 squad should conduct radio traffic, if possible. (difficult to hear with K9)
    • Radio – announce there is a K9 in pursuit so responding officers are aware.
    • Handler will remove K9 and search, usually off-lead if a suspect bails.
    • Handler will refer to policy to determine if K9 will be used.
  • 23. Felony Stops
    • K9 can be used to clear vehicle after all compliant occupants have been called out and secured.
    • Officer calling people out of vehicle should have the last person out, leave one door open.
    • K9 announcement should be made, if no response, then K9 can search.
    • Handler will direct K9 to approach, enter and search vehicle for hidden persons.
  • 24. Report Writing / Documentation
    • Handler will document K9 specific information.
    • Don’t try to interpret / write about what K9 was doing or indicating, leave that to handler.
    • Photographs of injuries to suspects, officers and K9.
  • 25. Safety around Canine
    • Don’t run around K9.
    • Dog’s are animals…they chase as a part of instinct and training.
    • Don’t give any commands to K9, this is the handlers job.
    • If challenged by K9, stop the behavior that initiated aggression.
  • 26. TASER’S & K9
    • An inadvertent shock to K9 will be detrimental
    • Handler should be told prior to deployment, if feasible.
    • Taser operator might have to move close to subject to deliver “drive stun” with Taser to avoid accidental discharge into K9.
  • 27. Handler injured
    • There might be another officer / K9 handler that is familiar with dog that can be called.
    • If not, approach dog with confidence and escort with purpose.
    • Squad door can opened and the K9 called over.