IMPLEMENTING A CANINE UNIT IN A SMALL POLICE AGENCY
E.M.U. SCHOOL OF POLICE STAFF AND COMMAND
Lieutenant George T. Rouhib Fraser Department of Public Safety Fraser, Michigan
An applied research project submitted to the Department of Interdisciplinary Technology as part of the School of Police Staff and Command Program September 19, 2003
For several years, the City of Fraser Public Safety Department has been using canine resources from other communities in order to curtail crime. This research paper focused on the importance of implementing a canine unit within a police agency and selecting the most qualified individual for the handler position. With the increase in drug trafficking, it is imperative that even a small police agency such as the City of Fraser creates a canine unit. The use of the canine can be advantageous in search warrant executions, tracking fleeing suspects, building and vehicle searches, and public relations. The purpose of this research project was to seek information in order to determine if a canine unit would be beneficial to the police agency. The information that was gathered not only will assist the City of Fraser but all police agencies in establishing their own canine unit. Several topics were investigated during this project: a) The implementation and ongoing costs associated with the unit b) The advantages and disadvantages the canine unit offers c) The type of individual that should be chosen for the canine position d) The administrative issues relevant to the unit The writer selected numerous experienced canine administrators as well as handlers to assist with this research project. Each individual was interviewed and provided with a written survey of questions that were relevant to the issues. Various books and articles were also utilized in the research. The results of this study indicated that a canine unit would be advantageous to the city if properly managed. The most important issue was choosing the right handler in order to make the
iii unit a success. If the handler is not self-motivated or lacks work ethic, the program will be unsuccessful. The writer will recommend, based on the research, that the implementation of the canine unit will not only promote or benefit the department but the entire community.
iv TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................... ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................ iv BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE ...................................................................... vi LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................. viii PROCEDURES ............................................................................................................ xviii RESULTS ....................................................................................................................... xix DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................ xxii RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................. xxiii TABLE I ....................................................................................................................... xxvi APPENDIX A .............................................................................................................. xxvii REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. xxx
The City of Fraser Police Department has relied on the support of canine officers from other agencies for many years. Recently, three surrounding police agencies have eliminated their canine units due to budget constraints. In 1996, the city created a Special Investigation Unit in order to investigate narcotic trafficking complaints. A great deal of the unit’s success was attributed to the assistance of the canine from other police agencies. However, the elimination of the canine units from the other agencies will unquestionably disrupt the unit as well as the department. Up to this point, there has been no research conducted on implementing and operating a canine unit within the City of Fraser. In order for the Special Investigation Unit to maintain its standards, it is imperative that the city creates its own unit in order to make the canine readily available. There have been numerous occasions where a canine was immediately required to assist officers with a narcotic’s search warrant and road patrol officers with vehicle searches. The most recent case occurred when officers from the Special Investigation Unit received information from a reliable informant that two individuals were going to deliver a large amount of a drug called ecstasy to a residence in Fraser. The officers received additional information that the lone female passenger was in possession of the illegal substance. The officers subsequently stopped the vehicle, interviewed the male and female occupants, and obtained a consent search. After an exhaustive search, the officers could not locate any drugs. A canine was then requested to assist the officers at the scene. The nearest department that could supply a canine was 40 minutes away. When the handler arrived at the scene, his canine alerted to the exterior of the vehicle and the front passenger seat where the female was sitting. The female was
vi then detained and transported to the police department where a female officer searched her. The search resulted in the seizure of 300 ecstasy pills. The prosecutor’s office declined to authorize a warrant based on the time that lapsed from the traffic stop to the arrival of the canine officer. This could have been avoided if the city had its own canine handler. The purpose of this research project was to gather information relevant to establishing a canine unit within a police agency. It was important to gather a variety of data that is germane to the costs of the unit, the selection of the handler, the advantages and disadvantages of creating a unit, and administrative issues associated with the program. This data was collected by means of interviewing several experienced dog handlers and administrators from various police agencies. The writer also prepared a written survey that was forwarded to the handlers that contained questions that were significant to the canine unit. There were also several reference articles, documents, and books used to obtain all of the necessary information.
BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE The use of canines in police work date back to the 14th Century in St. Malo France where canines were used to guard dock installations (Northern Constabulary Police Dog Section, 2003). They were also used in Paris in 1895 to combat the street gangs. In 1896, Ghent, Belgium was the first city in the world to formulate a school where dogs could be trained for law enforcement purposes (RCMP Police Dog Service, 2003). New York City established canine programs in 1907. Since then, over 1,000 American forces have had units for short and extended periods of time. Canines were used during World War I and II where dogs acted as messengers, tracking, locating the wounded, and for spotting machine gun nests.
vii The use of the canines in the early 1960s was instrumental in breaking up demonstrations during the civil rights era. Today, there are approximately 7,000 police canine teams in the United States (Butler, 2002). The historical data indicates that canine have been instrumental for thousands of years. There are an endless amount of services that they are capable of performing. There is no reason why a canine unit cannot be implemented in every police agency provided that they have the funds, manpower, and legitimate reasons for its existence. The City of Fraser has depended too long on neighboring police agencies for their assistance. Is it fair to continuously call the same police departments requesting their assistance and diminish their manpower? There are times where a handler can be engaged assisting other agencies for hours. The City is currently at the point where it cannot obtain assistance from surrounding communities due to budget cuts and the elimination of their canine programs. This is why it is vital to create a program within the department. The research indicated that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of establishing a program. If the canine program is established in the future, the dog will be readily available for service. The department will not have to consume valuable time in attempting to contact three or four agencies for the support of their dog, while a fleeing felon is running down the city streets. The officer will not have to worry about backup or being injured because the canine will assist him/her. The dog will be instrumental in searching a vehicle or a home for narcotics. The program will bring the community closer to the police department where it will illustrate the importance of law enforcement and how technology is so ever changing.
A large portion of this research project relied on interviews and survey questions. The questions on the survey focused on the following issues: ¾ Costs involved in implementing a canine unit ¾ The advantages and disadvantages of formulating a unit ¾ Cost effectiveness ¾ Selection of the handler ¾ Administrative issues Officer John Maxey of the Eastpointe Police Department has four years experience as the department’s canine handler. Officer Maxey indicated during the interview that the approximate cost of initiating a canine unit is $36,000. This would include the dog, training academy, canine vehicle, vet bills, food, continuous training, dog care, and special equipment. His agency utilizes their drug forfeiture fund to cover the costs. The price may fluctuate based on what type of canine the agency requires or the vehicle selection for the canine. Officer Maxey stated that his choice of canine would be a utility dog that can perform duel functions such as narcotic detection and tracking. This type of animal costs more money. The most popular choices of vehicles for the canine are the Ford Crown Victoria and the Ford Expedition. The Ford Expedition is larger but due to the vehicle height, it can be difficult for the dog to jump in and out. The canine handler is also compensated one hour a day for the care and maintenance of the animal. The compensation aspect can be negotiated with the police officer’s union and the head of the agency.
ix Officer Maxey indicated that there are many advantages to creating a canine unit. The most significant ones are as follows: o Public relations o Narcotic searches o Officer’s safety o Dedication to duty The canine is an amazing tool for public relations such as performing demonstrations for school children, senior meetings, homeowner associations, and the DARE programs. Officer Maxey indicated that he could perform more public relations within thirty minutes than the average road patrol officer could carry out within six months. A canine that is trained in narcotic searches can locate drugs in areas where the average officer would be incapable of searching. A canine sense of smell is approximately 400 times greater than a human being. Officer Maxey indicated that the canine can be used for building searches and can typically locate a suspect within a matter of seconds. The dog can also be deployed when there is a potential assault occurring on an officer or where a crowd is being unruly. The presence of the dog can change a person’s behavior very quickly. Officer Maxey indicated that unlike officers, dogs do not call in sick or complain about the working conditions. They are only interested in getting the job done. Officer Maxey indicated that there were two disadvantages of implementing a canine unit. The one disadvantage was the enormous amount of paper work that is involved. It is difficult to keep up since he is acting as the canine officer for his agency and assisting other departments. The other disadvantage is that his agency considers him as minimum manning.
x When he is on duty, he has to answer numerous police calls that prevent him from utilizing his canine and/or assisting other departments when they are in need of support. Officer Maxey stated that since the implementation of his canine unit in 1999, it has been cost effective to his agency. His team is responsible for twenty-one arrests, $130,000 in cash seizures, the seizures of 1270 grams of cocaine, 190 grams of crack cocaine, 3200 grams of marijuana, 15 building searches, 43 search warrant executions, 213 vehicle searches, 25 suspect tracks, and 85 searches of tractor trailers. Officer Maxey stated that the single most important factor in any canine unit is the selection of the handler. If the handler is not self-motivated, hardworking, dedicated, and in good physical condition, then the unit will not succeed. He suggests when selecting a handler, an outside independent panel should be formulated to conduct interviews. This will avoid any accusations of favoritism when choosing the proper person for the position. Officer Maxey also spoke about administrative issues that the department should be concerned with. He suggests that the canine handler should reside approximately 15 minutes from the city. He also recommended that the canine receive at least eight hours of training per week. The agency should have written policies and procedures before the canine is placed in service. It is also important that the canine officer keep accurate and detailed training records and statistics on the dog for court purposes. Officer Maxey recommended that the canine handler and dog be certified. He is currently certified with NAPWDA-North American Police Work Dog Association. There are other associations such as the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) and the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA). The certification is valid for two years; however he prefers to be re-certified every year. Being certified means there are certain standards that the canine and handler have to achieve. If a civil
xi suit is initiated against the city, the certifying organization will send a trainer to court and testify to what standards the canine handler and dog have reached and how they were accomplished. Captain Fred Posavetz from the Clinton Township Police Department has 12 years experience working as the handler for his agency. Captain Posavetz further teaches a class at Oakland University on how to implement a canine unit. Captain Posavetz stated that the approximate cost to set up a canine unit would be $34,000. The expenses will include all of the ones Officer Maxey specified plus additional costs such as a kennel for the handler’s home, door popper for the police vehicle, temperature alarm, and a car fan. Drug forfeiture will cover all of the costs associated with the unit. Captain Posavetz listed four main advantages of implementing a canine unit. His examples are as follows: o Officer safety o Apprehension of criminal suspects o Detection of illegal drugs o Public relations A trained canine is capable of searching buildings or open areas for suspects who may be armed. The canine’s ability to detect the human odor enables the officer(s) to conduct searches more safely. They are less likely to encounter an ambush situation. The effective canine team will apprehend criminal’s suspects that would otherwise escape. Arresting and charging the criminals will prevent them from continuing to conduct further illegal activity. Drug dealers and smugglers are ingenious in concealing drugs in locations where officers aren’t likely to look. The canine will indicate on areas where there is an odor of drugs present.
xii The canine’s sense of smell will alert on the area and the officers will examine the animals’ instinctive suspicions. The canine will be very active with public relations and will represent the police department in a positive way. Captain Posavetz listed the following disadvantages on his survey. o Training o Civil liability o Prisoner transportation o Support staff Once the canine unit is implemented, the officer must continuously train. The training can sometimes cause short staffing for the police agency. The canine is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to individuals. If the canine injures the wrong person or inflicts excessive injury, the police department can expect a civil lawsuit filed against them. The canine team usually does not transport prisoners in their patrol vehicle due to the backseat being converted into a mobile kennel. This will cause the police department to send another officer to the scene for transportation purposes. When the canine is requested to track a suspect, other officers are needed to establish a perimeter around the area. The officers are needed to contain the suspect’s flight or detect and arrest the fleeing individual. The officers will not be available for other duties during this time. Captain Posavetz stated that the Clinton Township’s canine unit has not been cost effective since the selection process in the grievance process. That is why it is so important that
xiii all union issues are settled prior to selecting the handler. Captain Posavetz also stated that his agency is currently involved with two excessive force lawsuits involving the canine team. Captain Posavetz suggests that the person chosen for the canine position must be selfmotivated and can work with little supervision. The person must be willing to work 24 hours a day and seven days a week. In respect to administrative issues, Captain Posavetz stated that policies and procedures should be written regarding the canine unit. He also indicated that the handler should live 15-20 minutes away from the police station. Training should be held once a week for eight hours. Once the team is established, training should take place every other week. The canine handler should work the afternoon shift and should be certified. Captain Posavetz indicated that canine statistics are not mandated; however his previous handler recorded them. He further stated that you have to be cautious of statistics because they can be manipulated to reflect or support a desired result. Officer Jeff Kwiatkowski from the Roseville Police Department has been a handler for his agency for six years. Officer Kwiatkowski stated that the approximate initial cost for establishing a canine unit is $39,000. He indicated that the initial costs are high but as the unit progresses the costs will decline. Officer Kwiatkowski listed four advantages to implementing a canine unit. The following are the most important: o Officer safety o Time savings o Public relations o Narcotic searches
xiv Officer Kwiatkowski indicated that on numerous occasions where there was a hostile suspect or crowd, the mere presence and sound of his dog would immediately have an impact on the situation. Officer Kwiatkowski stated that his canine is used in numerous building searches. Many of the buildings are several thousand square feet. It takes his canine half the time to sweep the building for an intruder than his fellow officers. This will allow the officers to go back into service and answer calls. The canine unit is a great public relations tool. Officer Kwiatkowski stated that the people care more about his dog than the officers. The canine is instrumental in drug searches. The dog can sense the odor of drugs in areas where narcotics are concealed beyond the human search. The disadvantages Officer Kwiatkowski listed are as follows: o Initial costs o Weekly training o Full time obligation o Garcia Act o Fear of the dog As indicated earlier, Officer Kwiatkowski stated that the initial costs for implementing a unit is approximately $39000. However, drug forfeiture and fundraisers can be used to help with funding the unit. Each week, Officer Kwiatkowski trains for eight hours in conjunction with other handlers from the surrounding community. By training one day a week, eliminates him from road patrol, which causes a shortage in manpower.
xv Officer Kwiatkowski indicated that by being a dog handler is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week commitment. It is also very difficult to go on vacation because everyone is afraid to watch his canine dog. Because of this dilemma, Officer Kwiatkowski has to take the dog with him when vacationing. Officer Kwiatkowski indicated that he is compensated one hour a day for the care and maintenance of the dog. He stated that under the Garcia Decision in 1986, the Supreme Court stipulated that a canine handler must be reimbursed for the caring and maintenance of the dog. According to the (United States Police Canine Association, 2003), the Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U.S. 528 of 1985 decision indicated that the state and local government must comply with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. If an individual works in excess of 40 hours, then they should be compensated at time and a half. The handler shall be compensated by the police agency since he/she is responsible for caring, feeding, and grooming of the dog while off duty. An employee cannot legally waive the provisions under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. However, if a resolution is compromised between the handler and administration this will suffice. The police agency can be held liable for double the damages if they fail to compensate the handler. Officer Kwiatkowski acknowledged that the canine could pose a problem for other immediate family members such as women and small children. The physical appearance of the dog sometimes frightens them. This can create a stressful environment within the family. In regards to the cost effectiveness of the canine, Officer Kwiatkowski stated that the dog saves manpower, and locates drugs and/or suspects that could not have been found by patrol. He further stated that the dog is responsible for generating thousands of dollars each year on drug forfeiture seizures that can be spent for other necessary equipment to curtail crime.
xvi Officer Kwiatkowski stated the person that should be for the canine position must be aggressive, dedicated, and takes the extra step to make the program a success. The handler needs the support of his family in order to make his/her job less stressful. Officer Kwiatkowski stated that he prefers a German or Dutch Shepard that can be crossed trained in narcotics and tracking. He also recommended that the dog handler live no more than 20-30 minutes away from the police station. He suggests that the handler and canine are certified with a reputable organization and train at least eight hours a week. There should be policies and procedures in place before deploying the canine. Detailed records of the dogs training and statistical information should be complied for court purposes and possible civil litigation. Ellis and Kirchner, 1999, stated that the cost of the canine unit depends on the dog selection, equipment, vehicle selection, and training methods. A great deal of research should focus on what type of canine is selected. The more functions the animal can perform the greater the cost. Ellis and Kirchner, 1999 further stated that the advantages and disadvantages of the canine program are as follows: o The canine is a backup to other officers. o Building searches o Income generated as a result of drug seizures by the canine o The psychological deterrence from a vocal dog inside of a marked police car has proven itself effective One disadvantage to the canine program can be liability issues. Many agencies are suspect of implementing a program for the fear that the dog may bite or attack a citizen. The
xvii properly trained animal is less of a liability than the human counterpart. A human being must think first and then react to a given situation. If an officer fires his weapon, there is no way of recalling the bullet. A dog reacts only to the situation in accordance with conditioned training. The dog can be recalled from any action he was told to perform. The problem of liability comes from the handler from the lack of continued maintenance training, or a total disregarder on the part of the administration as to what the canine does. As Ellis and Kirchner (1999) reported, “the courts have ruled that the uses of dogs in apprehension are less force than using a baton. When the handler and canine are properly trained and maintained (detailed training records were kept) the dogs are not excessive force if properly used. It is imperative that the agency has policies and procedures regarding the dog and oversees the dog selection, handler selection, and all of the necessary training associated with the unit. Liability should not be a concern if the above listed protocol is followed.” (p.6). The handler selection and the dog selection are the most two important factors in implementing a program. The following are some characteristics of a well-chosen handler (Ellis and Kirchner, 1999). o The handler shall possess street sense as well as common sense. o Have no complaints of excessive force o Good physical condition o Public speaking abilities o Highly self motivated and needs little supervision o Should live in a stable family environment and live within 30 minutes from the police station o Possess excellent work ethic
xviii The canine unit has proven to be the most cost-effective resource available. If the dog is properly trained, the program will increase in value as time goes on. The dog will generate more revenue than any other unit in the agency and eventually the unit will be self funded. It is imperative that the police agencies have a duel purpose or specialty dog for narcotic detection. It is essential that the agency supply the dog handler with a quality vehicle that has low miles and is dependable. The exterior of the vehicle should have some type of warning such as, POLICE DOG-STAY BACK. The windows on the vehicle should be tinted so the interior will be somewhat cooler for the animal. A heat sensor should be placed in the vehicle in the event the vehicle stalls, the horn will sound and alarm the handler. If the temperature is hot enough, and the air conditioning terminated, a dog can die within thirty minutes (Ellis and Kirchner, 1999). It is important that the administration must have a working knowledge on how the canine unit operates. The administration must be supportive of the unit and mandate the necessary training and record keeping that is required.
A letter that was written by the writer to six canine handlers and administrators in the surrounding communities initiated the research project. From the six handlers, three had responded. In the letter the writer explained the purpose and intent of the study and requested their assistance. The writer prepared a survey consisting of several questions that were relevant to the project. The questions were written down in a survey packet and also placed on a disc so it would be easier for the officers to complete their answers. Each packet was mailed to the respective handlers/administrators. The writer requested that the surveys were sent back to the police agency within two weeks. Once the surveys were turned in, the writer personally
xix interviewed the handlers and administrators. This area of the research was the most valuable. The writer felt that by speaking to the handlers face to face provided a better understanding regarding the issues that were relevant to the project than reading numerous documents. The interviews were not shocking regarding the positive and negative aspects of the program. The individuals that were interviewed in essence responded in similar manner as the previous person. Establishing and Maintaining a Successful Canine Program and Effective Canine Management Unit Management 1999, was used as a guide to compare and contrast the information that was supplied during the interview processes. The book was also valuable in identifying certain U.S. Court decisions that are relevant to the canine program. Administration of Police Canine Units-Oakland Police Academy, 2003, was helpful in locating historical information relating to the use of canines in police work. The literature contained several documents that were compiled by a retired canine handler. There were several small articles located on World Wide Web that provided a foundation for the project but lacked the information that was necessary to complete the research.
It is evident based on the totality of the research that the implementation of a canine unit would be beneficial not only to the City of Fraser but all police agencies in general. The research paper focused on the cost of formulating a unit, advantages and disadvantages, handler selection, cost effectiveness, and administrative issues relevant to the subject matter. The cost of creating a program is approximately $35,000-$40,000. All of the costs can be funded by the agencies drug forfeiture account. Holding fundraisers and obtaining the support of
xx the citizens and businesses within the community can also assist with funding the unit. A more detailed account of the expenses is listed in Table I of this research project. The majority consensus based on all the interviews, surveys, and book materials indicated that the advantages of the canine unit are: a) Public relations b) Narcotic and building searches c) Officer’s safety d) Apprehension of criminal suspects e) Psychological deterrence The general consensuses of the disadvantages of implementing a canine unit are: a) Civil liability b) Handler counts as minimum manning c) Constant training d) Initial costs of the unit e) Full time obligation The research indicated from all of the interviews, surveys, and book materials that when selecting a handler he/she must be self-motivated, dedicated, energetic, requires little supervision, and be in good physical condition. The handler also has to be available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week for service. An interview process should choose the handler by an independent panel. The research also indicated that the handler should reside within 15-20 minutes from the police department. The most important issue is that the handler has the utmost support from his/her family and the administration. Without this the program will most likely be unsuccessful.
xxi The results of the research regarding whether or not the canine unit can be cost effective was answered positively. The research indicated that the canine would generate more revenue than any other unit in the police agency (Ellis and Kirchner, 1999). The canine saves on manpower and can search a building in half the time it would take two to three officers. The research revealed that the canine could locate narcotics in areas that cannot be sensed by a human being. This will cause an increase in narcotic seizures, arrests, and convictions. The administrative issues that were explored throughout this project were focused on the day-to-day operation of the unit. The most evident issues that were discussed in order to make a canine unit a success and have limited liability are establishing policies and procedures prior to deploying the canine. The policies and procedures will act as the foundation on how the unit shall operate. The selection of the dog and handler are crucial. They are the foundation of the unit and are the most intricate part of the entire operation. The handler and canine should be certified with an accredited canine organization. The results of the research indicated that the canine handler must be compensated every day for the care of the dog. The handler can be paid in overtime, compensatory time, adjusting his/her hours by one a day or salary rate adjustments. This can be negotiated with the police agencies union and the head administrator. It is imperative that the canine unit continues to train each week and continue maintenance training. Typically, the handler will be involved with eight hours of training each week in order to maintain the team’s abilities. The canine handler and administrator in charge of the unit must keep detailed records of training, maintenance records, and statistical information for court purposes in the event the city is involved in a lawsuit.
Officer Maxey listed several advantages to his canine unit but was not as concerned with liability issues as Captain Posavetz and Officer Kwiatkowski. Officer Maxey indicated that if the agency selects the proper handler and canine, and all of the training records are documented, then liability should not be an issue. I agree with Officer Maxey. No matter what you attempt to accomplish in law enforcement there is going to be ramifications of civil liability. If a person is properly trained, and the training is continuous, there should be minimal liability issues. It is my experience that accurate record keeping will unquestionably support an agency in the event of a civil suit. Officer Maxey also made reference on how important the dog can be on the subject of public relations. I have had the opportunity to view several demonstrations involving canine teams. The responses from the citizens were astonishing. Captain Posavetz spoke highly of having a canine unit but his city has currently eliminated the program. The selection of the handler is in the grievance process and the city also is involved in two civil suits involving excessive force lawsuits. I feel that it is necessary to establish strict guidelines especially when choosing the handler. The handler has the right to know what the city expects of him/her. This will avoid any grievances or altercations in the future. If the police agency implements policies and procedures and maintaining accurate records the risk of a lawsuit will be narrowed. Officer Kwiatkowski indicated that his experience with his canine involving narcotic and building searches and crowd control was extremely supportive to other officers as well as the rest of his agency. He indicated that by using the dog for these types of situations the agency would save time and manpower. I fully agree with this. Why not send the dog into a large building to
xxiii be searched instead of two or three officers. If anyone is in the building the dog will notify you within seconds. Further, it may be advantageous to have the canine first search a home for narcotics and then allow the officer’s to search thereafter. Many police organizations are reluctant to implement a canine unit due to cost and liability reasons. Ellis and Kirchner (1999) were not concerned with civil liability as long as the department continued to keep updated training and maintenance records. The authors also indicated that policy and procedures are a must prior to implementing the unit. I strongly agree with the authors. An agency cannot be fearful of establishing a program based on what could happen. There are risks involved with everything we do. If we fail to take a chance on something then we will never know if it would have fulfilled the needs of the agency. According to the United States Police Canine Association, 2003, the police agency and the canine handlers should negotiate a compensation package for the care of the canine prior to implementing the unit. I strongly agree with this. This part of the program is mandatory. If an arrangement cannot be implemented then the unit will be terminated. Based on all the interviews, surveys, and literature, the research project positively highlights the values of implementing a canine unit within any police agency. I feel that the canine unit can and will be a success if properly managed and supervised by the proper personnel. It will undeniably send a positive image of the department to other police agencies and the community.
The implementation of a canine unit within a police agency has countless benefits that can accommodate the organization from day to day. The program will not only assist officers
xxiv with their duties but it will enable the public to appreciate the more advanced services they deserve. The research indicated that the City of Fraser has the funds, manpower, and a need for a canine program. The recommendations based on this research project will be presented to the head of the agency and the members of the city council. The council should be educated on the costs, handler selection, advantages, disadvantages, and the cost effectiveness of the program. The writer will encourage that a canine handler from another agency lecture the council and demonstrate the canine’s abilities. The data contained in the research specified that the approximate cost to create a canine unit is $38000. Drug forfeiture monies along with fundraisers will pay for all of the initial and ongoing expenses. The most important aspect in the implementation of the unit is selection the proper handler and dog for the program. The department must employ an interview process that will be equitable. The handler must be a diligent and conscientious employee and have a superior working relationship with the rest of the agency. The organization will choose a canine that will best fit the needs of the department. The study indicated that a dog that can perform duel functions such as narcotic searches and tracking would be the most dynamic. The interviews and surveys identified that the advantages of the canine unit prevail over the disadvantages. The project research also specified that the unit is cost effective to the organization. Once the unit is in operation, it will compensate for itself and save on time and manpower.
xxv The administration must execute policies and procedures regarding the operation of the canine unit. The administration along with the dog handler must keep detailed records regarding training, maintenance, and statistical information that are pertinent to the unit. Once these recommendations are in place, the unit will absolutely be the most valuable resource within the police organization.
xxvi TABLE I
Estimated Implementation and On-Going Costs
Implementation Costs: Vehicle Training Academy Dog Bite Suit Leather Equipment Home Kennel Mobile Kennel Other Various Leashes First Aid Kit Muzzle Temperature Alarm for Vehicle Dog License Total Implementation Cost On-Going/Annual Costs: Overtime for Handler Training Veterinary/Medical Food Grooming Certification and Membership Dues Total Annual Costs
25,000 5,000 3,500 1,300 1000 800 500 250 200 100 75 50 25 $37,800
9,000 1,500 700 600 500 150 $12,450
SURVEY QUESTIONS IMPLEMENTATION OF A K-9 UNIT Expenses (Initial/Ongoing)
Purchase price of dog Training academy Cost of annual training Vehicle for handler Annual vet bills Dog care Annual food bills Other equipment associated with the animal List any special equipment needed for the vehicle Other expenses not listed
What are the most important benefits of having a canine unit? (Please list four examples)
What are some disadvantages of having a canine unit? (Please list four examples)
Since the implementation of your unit, has the program been cost effective to your agency? Why? (Arrests, drug seizures, drug forfeiture, etc..)
What type of person does the city/township want to act as a dog handler?
Does you department compensate the handler for the care of the dog? (Comp time or overtime per day)
What type of dog do you recommend and why?
Do you recommend cross-training the dog? Will the dog be as effective if he/she had only one function?
Where is the best place to purchase the animal?
How far should the dog handler reside from the city?
What type of vehicle do you recommend for the dog handler and his partner?
How often does the handler and K-9 have training and where?
What shift does your K-9 work?
Does your K-9 handler count as minimum manning?
What are some liability issues the city/township should be concerned with?
Does your agency have written policies and procedures regarding the K-9 unit?
What happens if the dog handler gets promoted after two to three years? Can the dog be transferred to another officer and still be effective?
Does the dog or handler have to be certified? If yes, where does he/she obtain certification?
Will drug forfeiture pay for most of the costs associated with the K-9 unit?
Does your handler have to keep statistics on the animal? Why?
Does your agency hold fundraisers for the canine?
Please list any other areas I may have declined to list.
xxx REFERENCES Butler, Kathie, (2003), Administration of Police K-9 Units, Presentation documents. Oakland Police Academy Ellis, J. & Kirchner, C., (1996). Establish and Maintain A Successful Canine Program And Effective K-9 Unit Management. Sarasota, Florida: Palm Printing Northern Constabulary Police Dog Selection. Retrieved March 24, 2003. http://www.northern.police.uk/hq/dept/dogsect.htm RCMP Police Dog Service. Retrieved March 23, 2003. http://www.rcmpgrc.gc.ca/pds/dog/srv_hstry/servhstry04_e.htm United States Police Canine Association. Retrieved April 3, 2003, from http://www.uspeak9.com/training/wallentineflsa.shtml.