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Deployment

Contact

Currently, the unit consists of seven teams which service the Niagara Region. We are also requested to assist with surrounding jurisdictions on an emergency basis. Our primary purpose is to respond to crimes in progress that may be solved with the assistance of the PSD. Examples are (but not restricted to) robberies, breaking and enters, and thefts. We respond to all tactical calls in conjunction with the Emergency Task Unit. Also, we assist uniform officers with non-emergency calls for service to ensure quicker response times.

K9 Officers performing search

The K9 handlers take their dogs home at the end of their shift and are responsible for them at all times. They are housed in kennels that are provided by the service. The dogs remain as part of the K9 unit as long as they are physically able to perform their duties. The average years of service for a PSD is five, but can extend up to ten years. Upon retirement, PSDs remain with their handler for the remainder of their life.

The K9 teams are deployed in specially outfitted marked uniform cruisers. The rear seat has a professionally designed metal canine kennel. This provides a clean, safe and protected environment for the dogs. Affixed to the kennel system is our recently donated "Hot dog/bailout" system. This allows the officer to electronically open a rear door, permitting an instant exit and an immediate response of his or her canine partner.

The primary purpose for the deployment of PSDs is an effective and efficient search tool. Their sense of smell is far superior to a human’s, which makes them a valuable asset. Police Service Dogs have helped to solve many offences where the perpetrator would never have been captured or identified. These dogs are invaluable in searching for missing persons, patients that have wandered away from a nursing home or other health facility. Without the ability to re-trace their steps, they might never have been found.

Former handler Constable Bill Harris and PSD Rocky found an elderly gentleman that had hours earlier left the safety of his nursing home. He was found in a ditch hidden from all the officers that were looking for him and needed medical attention. He would certainly have perished had it not been for the work and dedication of this team. This type of response is commonplace for the canine program.

These animals are truly a resource that cannot be understated.