Bakersfield Police Department
K-9 Unit & Facts
- After the dog arrives from Europe, the dogs and handlers complete a rigorous course of training which lasts approximately eight weeks.
- Once the teams are in service, they must train daily to maintain their skills and then train twice monthly as a group.
- Each dog costs about $15,000.00 and are purchased with asset forfeiture funds (money that has been seized from suspects engaged in drug trafficking).
- Generally, the dog teams work together for about six years.
- All of the patrol dogs in the unit are cross-trained or dual-purpose dogs. That is to say, they are trained to find hidden controlled substances including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. The dogs are also trained for patrol work which includes tracking, searching for hidden suspects, apprehending fleeing suspects, crowd control, and public/community relations.
- Since the program began, the various K-9 teams have been responsible for numerous large quantity seizures of controlled substances and numerous dangerous felony arrests.
- The dogs are assigned to one handler and live with the officer at home.
- The officer/handler is responsible for feeding, grooming, and taking care of the dog.
- The patrol vehicles which are assigned to the handlers are specially equipped to allow a comfortable and secure area for the dog to ride on patrol. There is water and a climate control devices in place to make sure the K-9 is protected from the environment.
- The K-9 teams often demonstrate their abilities and duties to schools and other public organizations.
- The K-9 teams often compete in competitions against other agencies and have received numerous awards.
- Once the police service
dog is taken out of active service because of age or
medical problems, it is usually retained by its handler
where it continues to be a member of the handler's