Archive for the ‘K9 Patrol Unit’ Category
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Police forces all over the world use specially trained police dogs for a variety of purposes. Every role in a police force is important, and each helps to enforce the law and protect citizens in its own way; however, tactical police work is often considered the most physically and mentally demanding of all tasks. Engaging a dangerous criminal requires an incredible amount of bravery and team-work. The end goal of any confrontation is to end the situation with as few injuries and casualties as possible.
When you introduce a poorly trained canine into a dangerous situation, it can make an already bad situation much worse. Proper training can mean a huge difference between a dog that endangers lives versus a dog that can save them. The single most important part of training a dog for tactical police work is to make sure it is trained to handle real danger in real situations. One aspect of this is to train for work with gunfire. During a confrontation, there is a very real chance that guns may be used by both the suspect as well as police officers. A poorly trained dog will immediately become confused and disoriented by such a situation, and will become a danger to all involved. On the other hand, a properly trained dog will be unaffected by the noise and commotion, will stay on target, and will be able to disarm the suspect efficiently.
Of course, there’s more to working effectively with a tactical police dog than having a dog that’s trained properly. The officers involved must also be able to work efficiently with the dog. The handler is responsible for ensuring that the officers involved know what to expect, and how the dog has been trained to react to different situations. This is especially important when introducing canine units into police forces who may not have any prior experience working with police dogs.
Canine protection is not a game. It takes a well-trained police protection dog, be it a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, to work effectively with a police force and to help ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Canine units are an essential part of police forces all over the world today. These elite canines are expected to help police officers enforce the law and save lives. Their duties range from tracking lost individuals, to rescuing drowning victims, to disarming dangerous criminals. It takes a very special dog to be able to perform these tasks with the efficiency and dependability that is required of working police dogs. For the police officers who are putting their lives at risk, having a canine partner who is guaranteed to be fully trained and capable of performing the task at hand is a necessity. In order to prove their capacity, working dogs must pass strict police canine certification programs before being admitted into the force. These certification programs ensure that only the best of the best make it onto the field as a working police dog.
Throughout the world, police forces in each region and country rely on their own localized certification programs. No international standard exists for the certification of police dogs, so it is up to the police department and the local government to determine if a certain certification is up to par with their own expectations for a police dog. For example, police dogs in the U.S.A often obtain certification from the United States Police Canine Association, while the Royal Mounted Police offers their own certifications for canine units working in Canada. However, the majority of organizations offering official certifications for police protection work follow a similar set of criteria. Typically, police dog certification programs will test dogs for general obedience and agility, tracking, criminal apprehension, searches, narcotics detection and explosives detection.
It is important to note that the certifications given for dog sport events, such as Schutzhund or French Ring, are not equivalent to those offered by official police dog certification programs. Police protection dogs should always be trained for real-life scenarios, as the danger they will face on the field is very real. Never expect a dog trained in sport to handle real protection work in the real world.
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
In the LA Times, a police dog was reported to have been stabbed in the line of duty:
San Marino, CA – A police dog was injured last week during an incident involving an intense standoff following police response to a burglary alarm.
When police arrived at the scene they encountered David Pohung Liu, 45, standing at the doorway with a large knife and a gun. Liu demanded that police shoot him, but then fled into the home whilst refusing to leave.
The standoff lasted approximately 5 hours as police negotiators tried to reason with Liu. Rik, a Belgian Malinois police dog, was sent into the home in an attempt to coax Liu from the building, but was slashed across the head and muzzle. Officers were able to call the injured dog back from the home and have it rushed to emergency surgery.
Shortly after, Liu set fire to the home, but finally surrendered after police began using pepper-spray projectiles as a last-resort non-lethal tactic.
Liu is currently hospitalized for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation during the fire. Thankfully, K9 Officer Rik suffered and no permanent injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
This is just one of many examples proving the true danger of canine protection work. Unfortunately, sporting dogs sold as true protection dogs increase the risk of injury ten-fold. Failure to target the weapon-arm and disarm the opponent is one of the biggest mistakes sporting dogs make, and it can easily mean the difference between life or death. This is why we at Command Control K9 train all of our protection dogs to do real protection work in real-life scenarios involving real danger. Our dogs are very social and love children, but will protect you and your family 100% in an emergency situation.
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
Narcotics detection dogs are a type of police dog trained specifically to search for and indicate the presence of illicit drugs. Other types of detection dogs include explosive detection dogs who can detect both explosives and firearms, and cadaver dogs who sniff out the presence of blood and human remains. While it is possible to train a dog to detect both narcotics and explosives, it is often more effective to have a dog specialize in one specific category. Even within the specific realm of narcotics detection, there is variation in the ways that certain dogs can be trained. For example, the difference between a dog trained to indicate passively versus a dog trained to indicate aggressively is very important. Often, a dog that indicates aggressively will be able to pinpoint the precise location of narcotics more accurately. However, a passive indicator is ideal for situations where collateral damage, such as scratched paint or damaged seat-cushions, must be avoided.
Many myths exist concerning the ability to trick or fool detection dogs, all of which have been proven false. A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be about 100,000 times as powerful as that of humans. The olfactory lobes in a dog’s brain are four times the size of that in humans, and with the size of a dog’s brain averaging at about one tenth the size of a human brain, the percentage of grey matter being devoted to the sense of smell is about forty times greater in canines than in humans. All manner of strongly-scented substances from coffee and spices to urine have been used to attempt to mask the smell of illicit drugs, and all have failed. A dog’s nose simply can’t be tricked. However, this does not mean that detection dogs are perfect. Training with a narcotics detection dog is an ongoing process, not because the dog forgets a scent, but to ensure that the dog does not begin to indicate on the wrong scents.
In the United States, all narcotics detection dogs are trained using real narcotics, obtained by the trainer through rigorous licensing and criminal record checks. However, some countries will not permit anyone to be in possession of illegal narcotics, even for the purposes of training detection dogs. In these places, the use of “pseudo drugs” to train detection dogs is common. A pseudo drug is a complex chemical substance that mimics the scent of real narcotics to a canine. How the dog interprets the scent to be the same as that of real narcotics is a mystery, as these substances often smell nothing like real narcotics to a human. However, they do seem to do the trick in places where real narcotics cannot be used for training.
The breeds of dog used for narcotics detection take into account both the olfactory precision of the breed, as well as loyalty and ability to be trained. While bloodhounds have a reputation as having the most precise noses, narcotics detection dogs tend to be German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois‘ and Labrador Retrievers for both their accurate noses and their intelligence and determination in training.
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Glassport, PA - Zen, a two-year-old German Shepherd and Glassport police dog, was poisoned with anti-freeze last month at the home of his handler, police Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse. DeVerse said he discovered an anti-freeze-soaked rag had been thrown atop the 6-foot chain-link fence that forms the dog’s pen. “I noticed a rag on the far corner of the cage there – it was kind of hanging in, dripping down,” recounts DeVerse. Upon noticing that Zen had lapped up some of the anti-freeze that had pooled at the bottom of the cage, DeVerse rushed Zen to a veterinary hospital where he underwent several hours of dialysis to flush the dog’s system.
Zen has since recovered and will be okay, but the attempt on Zen’s life has not been taken lightly. “[He's] part of my family. They’ve made an attack on the police department, they violated my privacy – they came to my home as well,” said DeVerse. Criminal attacks against police dogs are often met with serious consequences. Zen, as with many other k9 protection dogs, is considered a full-fledged police officer.
Glassport Mayor Terry DiMarco has set up a fund to reward information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrator, as well as to help pay the medical bills for Zen’s treatment. DiMarco even agreed to donate his next mayoral check to the fund. “We hope we continue to get more donations,” said DiMarco.
Thursday, October 15th, 2009
Taz, a German Shepherd working as part of the New York Police Department’s K9 unit, has recently passed away due to cardiac arrest. Taz was nearly two years old when he was assigned to first-response search-and-rescue after the September 11th attacks. He would have been ten years old this October 31st. Following his valient rescue efforts in 2001, Taz continued to serve the New York Polce Department where his duties were to search for evidence, suspects and missing persons alongside his handler, Officer Scott Ryan.
The New York Police Department has made use of police and protection dogs for over a century. While the concept of a police dog was mocked initially, dogs like Taz have proved themselves to be an essential part of police investigations and rescue attempts. In the search-and-rescue effort following September 11th, dogs were deployed round-the-clock with an average of eight police dogs per 12-hour shift.
The New York Police Department currently employs about forty police dogs, most of which are German Shepherds. Taz was the last of the dogs involved in the September 11th rescue effort to still serve on the force.
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Clear Lake, Iowa – The Clear Lake Police Department is holding a memorial service for Abby, a hard-working German Shepherd who joined the department in 2007, and died this September 21st after undergoing surgery for a cancerous tumor.
Abby apprehended bank robbers, sniffed for drugs and once helped locate a missing person. Her job was also that of a protection dog, defending her partner, Officer Ryan Eskildsen.
Abby came to the United States eight years ago from the Czech Republic. She was trained as a police dog, not as a pet, but was still popular among school children, recounts Police Chief Greg Peterson.
A display was set up at the service with flowers, photos of Abby, her collar and her badge. The service was emotional, attended by both the police force and members of the public, a true testament to her service in the community.
Monday, September 28th, 2009
Working dogs have been used by police forces for over a century. In the late 1800′s, Belgian police officers were under frequent attack during their nightly urban patrols. The unlucky officers demanded that additional forces be hired and trained to assist them. Unfortunately, lack of funding made this impossible. The Belgian government’s solution was to, instead, train working shepherd dogs to assist with patrols. To the Belgian police, this was hardly an ideal solution. The intimidating size and ferocity of the dogs was effective in deterring attacks against the police officers, but there were often cases of the dogs attacking the officers themselves. However, through persistent training, the Belgian police were soon able to mold these working dogs into loyal, obedient, and highly effective protection dogs. The use of working dogs by police forces soon spread through Europe into Germany, Austria, France and The Netherlands. Today, police dogs are in use all over the world.
The roles of police dogs have changed considerably since their early use as a criminal deterrent. Protecting police officers is still top priority for police dogs, but aggressive attacks against police officers is an increasingly rare phenomenon. Often, these dogs are released to pursue and detain suspected criminals who are attempting to flee from police. Due to their size, intelligence and loyalty, the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd are the most common breeds used for this purpose. While these breeds are fully trained and capable of sniffing and tracking, certain situations sometimes require the use of other breeds by police. For example, Beagles are sometimes used to sniff baggage in airports, due to their friendly appearance. While a properly trained German Shepherd is no less dangerous than a Beagle in reality, the smaller Beagle is used to avoid unnecessarily worrying airline customers who may have a fear of large dogs. Bloodhounds are also sometimes used due to their reputation as exceptional trackers, especially in missing persons cases where police are in search of a body. It is important to note, however, that these smaller breeds should only be used in situations where there is no possibility of confrontation with a dangerous criminal.
In the past century, police dogs have played an integral role in helping to maintain law and order in society. So valued are police dogs for their bravery and loyalty, that many are sworn in as official officers, and even given full police funerals in the event that they are killed in the line of duty. For the work they have done and the lives they have saved, police dogs have truly earned that honor.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
St. Georges University, on the island of Grenada, is dedicated to providing top-notch security for the benefit of its students, employees and surrounding community. Rapid expansion of the campus combined with worldwide increases in crime and US Department of Education requirements spurred administrators to think outside of the box. After considering many options they opted to assemble a team consisting of eight highly trained and dedicated patrol officers combined with eight custom trained guard dogs. This decision turned out to be a complete success.
The staff in charge of implementing the program focused on five companies before deciding on Command Control K9 Ltd as the ideal provider of the eight dogs needed. Administrators had extremely specific requests and felt that CCK9 was best equipped to handle their requirements. All of the selected guard dogs had to be highly sociable and not pose a physical threat; all of them must serve to complement their handler. CCK9 was very happy to customize the canines to these exact specifications and supplied eight guard dogs that had been trained specifically in perimeter patrol. The K9 officers are now completely in control of any situation with the benefit of having a canine that is alert to any suspicious activity, will growl on command and serves as a visual deterrent. Perry Ahlgrimm, CEO of Command Control K9 Ltd, personally structured the intense two week training course as well as yearly maintenance courses. He continues to have an ongoing dialogue with St. Georges University.
Administrators at the university are pleased that CCK9 was able to provide dogs that met their very stringent criteria. If it weren’t for the versatile training methods employed by CCK9 the K9 unit would not be as successful as it is. They also appreciated Mr. Ahlgrimm’s professionalism, objective attitude and trustworthiness in addition to his superior training skills. In fact, Mr. Ahlgrimm was also consulted in screening potential K9 Unit security guards for the University.
CCK9 is proud to have provided a security solution to St. Georges University. They are dedicated to providing dogs custom tailored to a client’s situation and needs. Diligence, superior dogs, flexible training, attentive staff and a can-do attitude is what makes them a leader in the industry.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Five German Shepherd protection dogs are the newest additions to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office. They are “multi-purpose dogs” for the sheriff’s department, which can do drug sniffing, tracking, criminal apprehension, and search or rescue. The sheriff’s office already had two dogs in their K-9 division, but they were trained only for drug sniffing. If the sheriff’s office had to track a suspect or chase down a criminal, they had to call in dogs from other agencies. Those agencies obviously had to respond to their own calls first, so the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office had to wait. Now, with five elite German Shepherd protection dogs, they have K-9 officers that can do it all. The drug-sniffing dogs are still on the force, and handle most of the drug and narcotics cases.
The dogs are technically four German Shepherd dogs and one Dutch Shepherd, named Balt, Jeager, Dibbs, Romo and Grimm, with Jeager being the odd one of the bunch. The officers assigned to each dog endured a four-week training course with the animals, and then took them home to be cared for as family pets. Each dog became a member of the family, and a constant companion for the officers. Like all elite protection dogs, the German Shepherds are trained to be gentle at home, but serious and dedicated while on the job.
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