K-9 Use: Law Enforcement & Civilian

What are some of the differences between K-9's used in law enforcement and those used in private security?

A sworn Law Enforcement Officer using a Police K-9 is required to follow through to arrest any time his K-9 indicates on drugs when in a school or private business, just as if any other crime was committed in his presence. Civilian K-9 handlers are not bound by the same requirements. If a Civilian K-9 indicates on drugs during the search of a school, it is up to the school administrators to decide how to proceed. They still may choose arrest, or they may call in parents and the student and insist on counseling. In each separate incident, the best way to proceed can be based on a case by case basis. This method leaves the control with the school administrator.

Many Law Enforcement K-9s are cross-trained to do Patrol Work as well as Drug Detection. The Patrol Dogs are trained to protect their handlers if need be. These dogs are most often the aggressive breeds such as German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Malinois, and Rottweilers.

Law Enforcement Agencies wanting to use dogs for firearms detection must use a separate K-9 for drug detection and firearms detection, meaning two separate K-9s must be used to offer the same protection as a single Civilian K-9. This is also more time consuming to run separate K-9s to check for drugs and firearms than one K-9 for both.