K-9 Unit

K9 Unit 2013The Burlington Police Department is comprised of four K-9 Teams.  Each team consists of a K-9 handler and a duel-purpose trained K-9.  The K-9s are utilized for narcotics detection and patrol work.  The K-9s are trained to search for, and locate, illegal drugs, tracking, evidence searches, building and suspect searches, and criminal apprehension.  Whenever the department’s K-9s are not on the job, they reside with their handler, making for a full-time partnership, not just a work related relationship.

K-9 officers apply through their respective chain of command to be considered for a position of K-9 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 must 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 to include, legal updates and legal issues, suspect tracking, drug and article searches, among other important issues to the K-9 teams. 

The K-9 teams attend annual certification trials conducted by the United States Police K-9 Association (USPCA).  After completion of the trials, K-9 teams are certified in a range of categories.  Along with membership in the USPCA, some K-9 members belong to other police K-9 organizations and attend additional training conducted through those organizations.

The Burlington Police Department’s K-9 program uses two distinct breeds of K-9 for the program.  German Shepards and Belgian Malinois are used exclusively and both breeds have a proven record of intelligence, bravery, and athletic ability.  German Shepards and Belgian Malinois have a heritage and history 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.

More information about K-9 Programs:
Region 2 US Police K-9 Association
United State Police K-9 Association