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NCJ Number: 140121 Find in a Library
Title: Practical, Ethical and Political Aspects of Engaging "Man's Best Friend" in the War on Crime
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1991)  Pages:53-65
Author(s): B G Stitt
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 13
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Practical, ethical, and political issues associated with using dogs in law enforcement are examined, and distinct types of situations in which dogs can contribute are noted.
Abstract: The U.S. Customs Service is primarily responsible for the increased popularity of drug detection dogs. Arson detection is the most recently developed investigative area for canines. While police dogs are extremely valuable in helping to apprehend suspects and solve crimes, their value in terms of effectiveness and potential for saving lives through their ability to detect explosive devices is unparalleled. Police dogs have certain advantages over their human counterparts. They are loyal, more fearless and fearsome, can maneuver through spaces too small for humans, have a keen sense of smell, and represent a psychological deterrent. Despite advantages, police dogs give the handler extra responsibilities over and above those of regular officers, and dogs must be trained constantly to keep their skills sharp. The major political issue involved in the use of police dogs relates to when and how the dogs will be used. In many communities, for example, minority residents of high-crime areas allege discrimination because dogs are not used to patrol middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. The key area of constitutional debate in the use of canines concerns whether the use of sniffing dogs constitutes a search under the fourth amendment. With respect to police use of deadly force, highly trained dogs can be employed as an alternative in felony situations and to safely apprehend fleeing misdemeanants. Administrative and economic issues associated with the use of police dogs are noted. 16 references
Main Term(s): Police dogs
Index Term(s): Drug detection; Explosive detection
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