PD K-9 units

gldavis

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An interesting question was asked of me a couple days ago. Seems a department in Davis Co wanted a K-9 unit to do (conduct?) a search. They checked with Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Weber, and Morgan Counties. Nobody had a K-9 unit available. It got me thinking.
1-How many K-9 units are there?
2- Where are they?
3-Why were none available?

I know I haven't been taking my anti-paranoia pills, but just maybe..........;)
 

n5ims

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Often only larger agencies have K9 units due to the cost and extra training required. Also due to the cost and extra training, an agency will only a very limited number, often leaving certain shifts with no K9 units available during those shifts. There's also travel time when a K9 unit is many miles away from a scene that requests one, that request may not be authorized since the usefulness of the unit may be minimal after waiting for the amount of time for the available K9 unit to arrive.

If a K9 unit is busy working a scene, that agency will often not allow it to be assigned to another scene, especially outside of that agency since there is no telling how long it will be needed (a simple drug check of a vehicle often is quick, but a search of a building or for a suspect can take hours). Also, once a unit is released from a long on-scene time event, the dog will need time to rest and get ready for the next call. Also, that K9 will only work for a certain shift and unless something really special happens, they will not be available for calls until their next shift.
 

GlobalNorth

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A relative works as a dog handler for an Arizona agency. The city she works for has a population of over 500,000 and they have a total of 6 K-9 units. One entire shift in a week is devoted to training and nothing else. There are no K-9 units available that day. Factor in days off, vacation time, sick time, time in court, down time for the dog, etc. and the city has shifts and days without a dog available. One call can last for hours or an entire shift.

Dogs can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to buy. Then, the handlers have to be trained alongside the dogs they are assigned to. Special vehicles, equipment, and other costs can run over $200,000 total for a dog that does patrol and some drug detection. A dog is limited to one to two functions only.
 

KC7NEC

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Not sure of any exact numbers. I do know that quite a few local departments do have K9s. One issue is that each dog has specializations, some for tracking people, some sniff bombs, others find drugs. If the request was a specific type of search there could have been K9s working that night but not capable of the kind of search requested.

I also will note that there are a lot of departments with officers on Covid-19 quarantine and if it's a dog handler then his K9 also would be out of services. Staffing currently is becoming an issue. Another factor possibly is the recent K9 investigations on several departments which may have them being more cautious with any mutual aid requests.
 

gldavis

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I had not thought about the number of units in the area, before. I am now. I did know most of what was posted here, but much thanks for the reminders and filling in. I do not know what the request was needed for, so.....
 

pmstewart

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I believe Ogden City has 6 K-9 officers - Weber County 5. They are mostly on during Friday afternoon and grave shifts. Riverdale has one I think and so does Roy City. Still there is only one or two units on during any of the Sunday-Thurs day shifts. I heard the same call your talking about.
 

gldavis

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It looks like Woods Cross has two K-9 units. One is drug sniffing and the other is a bloodhound, for tracking. It appears that SLC PD has two units. One at the Airport, and one with East-Liberty Division. I will assume that HAFB Security has one, as well.
Of course, I could be barking up the wrong tree......... Sorry (not), I had to do it. :)
 

danesgs

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A relative works as a dog handler for an Arizona agency. The city she works for has a population of over 500,000 and they have a total of 6 K-9 units. One entire shift in a week is devoted to training and nothing else. There are no K-9 units available that day. Factor in days off, vacation time, sick time, time in court, down time for the dog, etc. and the city has shifts and days without a dog available. One call can last for hours or an entire shift.

Dogs can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to buy. Then, the handlers have to be trained alongside the dogs they are assigned to. Special vehicles, equipment, and other costs can run over $200,000 total for a dog that does patrol and some drug detection. A dog is limited to one to two functions only.
I have a friend that trains GSD's (German Shepard Dogs) for various agencies. Not only is this time consuming for the handler and the dog most of this training is highly specialized. Military bases that use dogs are more common for defensive purposes than anything in the police arena. Dogs are trained for a specific task. TSA uses them for drug and explosive use, Search and rescue teams for another. All dogs are different in how they respond to training. Here in VA w have or had a place in Warrenton that trained dogs for federal law enforcement work.

The advantages of a dog in LE work is obvious, they can find things quickly, have better hearing and sight etc. I am guessing in most cases if a unit requests a K9 unit it would be for a search most of the time.
 
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