GPD Canine Unit (K9)
HISTORY OF THE GARLAND K9 UNIT
The Garland Police K-9 Unit was officially formed in 1986 to help assist in the prevention of building burglaries. A properly trained and handled police canine can be an incredible asset within a police department. Police canines provide law enforcement officers with an enhanced search tool that can aid officers in detecting and preventing crime.
The Garland Police K-9 Unit is comprised of two canine teams designed to provide the maximum amount of safety to officers, citizens, and suspects during the investigation of criminal activities. They are especially helpful in the investigation of felony criminal offenses. The proper use of a canine unit has been shown to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings as it provides non-lethal aid for the department.
The K-9 officers conduct public demonstrations for schools, civic agencies, and community organizations on a regular basis. K9 handlers and their dogs go through 12 to 14-week school together learning the different skills and functions required of a canine team. After completing the canine academy, the canine teams train daily to maintain their level of proficiency.
FUNCTIONS OF THE K9
- Building Searches
- Criminal Apprehension
- Evidence Searches
- Narcotics Searches
- Tracking and Area Searches
Garland police canines are trained as dual-purpose police canines. Dual-purpose canines are trained in patrol criminal apprehension as well as narcotics detection. The dogs are the 24-hour responsibility of their handlers and stay at home with them when the handlers are not on duty.
When on duty the canines are in a special kennel built into the backseat of a squad car. The dogs are generally obtained when they are 2 to 3 years old and work until they are 8 to 10 years old depending upon their physical condition. The dogs are very sociable and enjoy interacting with people. After a police canine is retired he is given to his handler to remain a family dog.