- Open area/building searches for hidden suspects
- Search for evidence/article recovery
- Search for illegal narcotics and narcotic equipment
- Pursuit/apprehension of suspects in vehicle and foot pursuits
- Back-up for violent/potentially violent calls for service
- Back-up for felony arrests/traffic stops
- Crowd control and disbursement
- Protection of law enforcement personnel
Canine Officers have truly unique jobs in that they have the responsibility of training and caring for an animal that may one day be called upon to save their life or the life of another.
Winchester Police Canine Officers and dogs attend a United States Police Canine Association accredited police dog school. These schools are hosted by larger police departments such as Fairfax County Police Department in Fairfax County, VA or the Montgomery County Department of Police located in Montgomery County, MD. The basic patrol school is 14 weeks and narcotic detection school is 8 weeks in length. Upon completion of these schools the teams possess the basic skills necessary for an effective canine team. The canine handler has the responsibility of maintaining and improving upon these basic skills, accomplished through departmental training and the periodic attendance of formal retraining. The canine teams are encouraged to attend certification trials hosted by the United States Police Canine Association and the Virginia Police Work Dog Association. These events offer certifications as a measurement of the team’s proficiency and abilities. Unlike other police equipment that can be taken off of a shelf when needed, police dogs need constant attention to their needs and performance. When not on-duty the canine lives with the officer and it remains the officer’s responsibility to ensure that all of the canine’s needs are met. Canine handlers provide for the regular exercise, grooming, day to day needs, and medical requirements of their assigned K-9.