Monday, September 28, 2009
Originating in 1959, the Houston Police Department's K-9 Unit Program is one of the oldest Patrol Divisions on the department. There are currently thirty-nine teams in the K-9 unit which are assigned to various sections throughout the police department.
Most K-9 teams are assigned to patrol, while others are assigned to explosive and narcotics detection. Many of the dogs have a dual purpose and are as such trained. When not working, the dogs live with their handlers and their families.
The K-9 Units work along side patrol officers. These dogs are trained to protect the handler and other officers while on scenes. They are trained to assist an officer even without being called. The dogs are extremely useful when searching buildings, fields and parks. Explosive and narcotics detection is a major resource for police officers. They can be used to track the direction of travel of a fleeing suspect. Upon locating the suspect, the K-9 will bark to advise the handler of the find.
The dogs offer significant advantages such as speed, efficiency, managing limited spaces and the ability to locate suspects without being detected.
One of the most important purposes of a police dog is to function as a deterrent. During mass demonstrations, the police dog functions as an effective crowd control tool. If strategically deployed, one trained K-9 Team is comparable to approximately ten police officers.
at 2:40 PM