Law enforcement departments around the world are depending on police dogs more and more to aide in daily activities. In many ways, a police dog is just as effective, or even more, than a human officer. Why? Dogs have an excellent sense of smell and can detect things that a human cannot. Most people think that a police dog is used for finding drugs and bombs, but they have taken on additional roles as the years move forward. Dogs are used to detect accelerants in possible arson cases, track suspects, search and rescue and even crowd control.
Most police dogs are not trained to be aggressive. In fact, if a dog is too aggressive, it will either be rejected or possibly turned into a prison K9. In prisons, the dogs are expected to be aggressive with anyone other than its handlers. A public police dog is bred and trained for its personality and skills.
Purchasing, training and caring for a police dog can cost thousands of dollars per dog. When a police department decides to purchase a police dog, they are getting a dog who has already had excellent training and is ready to start working. Most often, the designated handlers will spend a few weeks with the dogs prior to bringing it on board for the department. A police dog will then live with the handler and his or her family. Once you take into account the cost of upkeep and ongoing training of a police dog, a dog may cost as much as $10,000. But the benefits of having a specially trained police dog on duty for a department makes the purchase more than worthwhile.
Not only are police dogs almost an essential in many daily functions, but it is an excellent way to get more involved with the community. Public demonstrations and activities gets the public interested not only in the police dog but also the department. It gives the officers and the citizens a chance to interact on a more comfortable basis. When citizens feel more comfortable with law enforcement, they are more likely to cooperate and bring forth information should it be necessary.
Police dogs not only chase criminals, they sniff out criminals who have gone into hiding in bushland and the like.Â Many are trained to detect the smell of drugs much like the dogs you see in airports, and these police dogs are used in crowds and on the streets.Â But police dogs are not only used for catching criminals.
For example, after 9/11, police dogs were taken to New York from all over the country. For days, those police dogs worked endlessly trying to locate anyone who might need rescued, as well as bodies of those who had not survived. Those dogs worked in the same hazardous conditions that volunteers were working in, but because of their size, they were able to get into some areas in which humans were not. Just as there were many heroes among humans during that emotional time, there were many police dogs that turned out to be heroes as well.