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NCJ Number: 201146 Find in a Library
Title: Big Dogs Go First
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:32,34,36
Author(s): Jim Weiss; Mickey Davis
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the training and duty operations of the K9 teams of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (Florida).
Abstract: In Florida, all police K9's must pass a basic training course with their handlers, but in Pinellas County, K9's undergo further training required to receive certification under the U.S. Police Canine Association (U.S.P.C.A.). This extra certification is done to ensure that courts will be satisfied that in cases that involve K9's the dog was "trained, certified, and reliable." The training certification judges are representatives of U.S.P.C.A. The K9's are tested for obedience, agility, searching, criminal apprehension, and recall. The obedience test is done off a leash and involves distance control and normal, fast, and slow paces and turns. The entire testing is done without interruptions, and each handler has identical exercises. The search test involves finding various types of items in various types of locations, including the simulation of a real building search. In the criminal apprehension test, another handler acts as a suspect decoy, following specific rules for sleeve protection as well as how he/she will conduct himself/herself. This test has five parts that simulate apprehension under various types of scenarios. Recall demonstrates control and obedience. The agility test consists of an obstacle course that includes hurdles, a catwalk, broad jump, A-frame, and ladder climb. Among the techniques taught to the K9 teams are tactical building search, high liability felony traffic stops, and canine passivity while the handler fires his/her weapon. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office uses only German Shepherds, because they are reliable, can track well, and have the confidence of their handlers. The duty work is difficult, involving 10 hours a day. The handlers are specially selected deputies, who are physically fit and mentally prepared for the various tasks assigned to K9 teams.
Main Term(s): Police dog training
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Florida; Police certification; Search and seizure; Specialized police operations
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