K-9 Unit

There are four K-9 teams. Each team consists of K-9 handler and a dual-purpose trained K-9. The K--9s are utilized for narcotics detection and patrol work. They are trained to search for and locate illegal drugs; tracking; evidence searches; building and subject searches; and criminal apprehension. Whenever they are not on the job, they reside with their handler, making it a full-time partnership, not just one for work.
K-9 officers apply through their chain of command to be considered for the position of handler. To be considered, officers have to have at least two years of police service. When an officer is selected for the K-9 program, the officer is matched with a K-9 partner and both attend a basic K-9 course that can last up to fourteen weeks. After basic training, the K-9 and handler must attend sixteen hours of in-service training each month. The training covers a variety of topics, such as legal updates, suspect tracking, and drug and article searches.
The teams must attend annual certification trials conducted by the United States Police K-9 Association (USPCA). After completion of the trails, K-9 teams are certified in a range of categories. Aside from membership in the USPCA, some K-9 members belong to other police K-9 organizations and attend additional training conducted by those organizations.

The Burlington Police Department uses two distinct breeds of K-9 for the program. German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are used exclusively because both breeds have a proven record of intelligence, bravery, and athletic ability. Both breeds have a heritage as working dogs in the herding class. Their extreme sense of smell, alertness, and loyalty to their handler make them a valuable asset in times of danger.

Contact Us:


(336) 229-3503


Lt. Chris Smith

Lead Trainer:

Jason Comer

Small BPD badge

Retired K9 Mishka

Earlier this year, Mishka, a 12 year old K-9 with the department, passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was partnered with now Sgt. Richard Marsh. Since their partnership began in 2007, she saved Sgt. Marsh's life twice and had a very successful career as a K-9 with over 700 incidences where she was used, including over 100 felonies and over 200 misdemeanors. After her cancer diagnosis in May of 2016, the Marsh family created a bucket list for her to complete, which included her own McDonald's french fry meal and a trip to the beach. Each and every K-9 is valued member of the police department as well as their handler's family. Mishka will be missed by the entire department, and our condolences go out to the Marsh family. Click here to read more about Mishka's time with the department

Current K-9 Teams

Currently there are four K-9 teams:
  • Officer Jason Comer - Keno
  • Officer Justin Jolly - Cairo
  • Officer James Faucette - Duke
  • Officer Travis Grogan - Justice

Additional Link(s):

More information on K-9 programs: