The Application Process and Workflow in K9 Unit

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There are so many different careers out there that someone could choose from. The possibilities are endless, a police officer or even a veterinarian. The career that I have chosen combines both of my passions, law enforcement and my love of animals. This is the research of the K9 Unit. The K9 Unit is a unit that is on the police force or even in the military. The K9 Unit is made up of both human officers and canine officers. In this unit the officers and their canine partners are trained to work together to do a multitude of different assignments such as, search and rescue, help find forensic evidence, locating bombs, and uncovering drugs.

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Just about everywhere you go you can spot these partners, you can see them in police cruisers marked K9, or even in an airport searching through luggage. This unit does a multitude of things for the police department or the military unit they belong to. In the police force they are used for search and rescue; they are used as cadaver dogs, trailing dogs, and water search dogs. Cadaver dogs are used to find human remains, they can find the tiniest piece of evidence such as a tooth. The trailing dogs are used to find scent trails that are left behind by a person. They are brought to the location where the person was last seen and uses a piece of clothing that belongs to that person. This is how I am training my dog, she is a trailing dog. Now there is the water search dogs, these dogs are used to find bodies that have been submerged in a body of water. These dog and handler pairs are on a boat where the dog can scent the gasses that are released from a body. (Criminal Justice School Education and Career Guide, 2018) They are also used to help locate drugs, they sniff out bombs that have been hidden. These dog and handlers are required to go through special training, so the dogs can identify specific scents and the handlers are able to understand the signals and work together as a team. (Criminal Justice School Education and Career Guide, 2018).

There are certain dog breeds that people always picture when you think of the K9 Unit. Usually you think of German Shepard’s and Belgium Malinois, because these are the most common breeds that are used. But there are other breeds that are used such as Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers, Bloodhounds, and Beagles. According to, discovering drugs, explosives, finding and rescuing people that are missing or people who were kidnapped. Tracking and catching fugitives evading the law. Discovering dead bodies that have been buried or thrown into a body of water. They also help others find evidence from crime scenes. Inspecting vehicles for drugs or even illegal people coming across the border. They help to deter criminals who might want to harm others around them. They even, identify people who have or were around any form of illegal substance, are all things that the K9 Unit performs on a regular basis (, 2018). The K9 unit also performs very mundane tasks as well, it is not all glory work. They also must make sure their dogs kennel is cleaned out, and their dogs are taken care of.

Before you can join the K9 Unit you will be placed as a uniformed cop for 2 to 4 years before you can transfer. You should let your unit know a head of time that you wish to join the K9 Unit, this way your superiors can keep an eye out for you when you are able to transfer. The easiest way to get your foot in the door is by signing up to be a criminal decoy in the training sessions, and by doing ride along with the K9 Unit. After joining the Unit, you and your dog will go through specialized training. While going through this special training, you and your dog will learn how to detect drugs (narcotics, marijuana, etc..), electronic devices (tracking devices, listening devices, etc..), Explosives, and cadavers. You will also learn how to do certain protocols, such as patrol protocols. You’ll learn how to release and call your dog back to you, how to call for backup, how to track a criminal, how to use a weapon, and how to make your dog heel after you apprehend the criminal. The training that you are required to go through is a grueling process, you must build up a bond with your dog, you must trust each other the exact same way you would build up a bond with a human partner.

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