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Old 08-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting up police k9 unit

Hi, I am a Sergeant in NJ and would like to start up a k9 unit for my municipality. I need as much info from any police k9 handlers as possible such as cost, grants, training, and most importantly selling it to the town for approval. My chief is on borad but ultimately it comes down to cost. I currently own a GSD right now which i bought from a breeder who does all the training so i am familiar with the amount of time that goes into the training. I appreciate any help and info. thanks
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Canine Legal Update and Opinions - Terry Fleck. contact him. He can give you tons of info as well as advice on policy and procedure:-)
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You can contact Fairfield, CT Police 1-203-254-4808(front desk officer) and ask to speak with K9 handler Kevin Wells. Fairfield just got their K9 unit (1 K9 to start) this past year. They had an incident many years ago 15+ and had the unit taken away. Several of the officers did a ton of research and Kevin would have all of that info (also being union president now I believe). They are working up to more K9's but decided to start with 1 for now. He is an awesome person to talk with since they literally JUST went through the process. I am no longer at Fairfield PD so I no longer have access to any of those types of records. Good Luck! I am a firm believer in K9's for depts.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When you present, you also need to focus on the cost savings to the dept. I can't even count how much money the SO has saved with our K9. Seems the hospital bills from culprits fighting, and officer injuries from culprits have diminished greatly (like to almost nothing). Amazing how convincing all those teeth can be. The known runners just walk out with their hands up
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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well thats the thing....my town does not have a high crime rate, so i would focus on more so the aspect of explosives and narcotics along with community policing. we currently have a college which we patrol along with elementary schools and a regionalized high school in which they get a few bomb threats a year. if any surrounding towns need a k9 we have to call the county but now the county has strict rules since they dont want to have to pay OT for them to respond.

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When you present, you also need to focus on the cost savings to the dept. I can't even count how much money the SO has saved with our K9. Seems the hospital bills from culprits fighting, and officer injuries from culprits have diminished greatly (like to almost nothing). Amazing how convincing all those teeth can be. The known runners just walk out with their hands up
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is this municipality Berlin, NJ? Reason I ask is that I have just been asked about assisting this municipality in starting a K9 dept.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well thats the thing....my town does not have a high crime rate, so i would focus on more so the aspect of explosives and narcotics along with community policing. we currently have a college which we patrol along with elementary schools and a regionalized high school in which they get a few bomb threats a year. if any surrounding towns need a k9 we have to call the county but now the county has strict rules since they dont want to have to pay OT for them to respond.
A dog is going to cost the department money. Unless you have everything donated, ie; vet, food, kennel, transport, equipment etc., it's not a money maker. A good drug dog will indeed have the opportunity to be involved in asset forfeiture, but you don't plan a budget on maybe's. Your best bet is to focus on the known problems and the benefit a dog can be in reducing those problems.

Figure a fair budget. There are few things worse than presenting a budget you know will not support your program. If a department can not commit, then it would probably be best to stay out of the dog business. The best that can happen is mediocre results, the worst is bad case law. The department must be behind the dog concept or it's just a liability nightmare.

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by class3204 View Post
Hi, I am a Sergeant in NJ and would like to start up a k9 unit for my municipality. I need as much info from any police k9 handlers as possible such as cost, grants, training, and most importantly selling it to the town for approval. My chief is on borad but ultimately it comes down to cost. I currently own a GSD right now which i bought from a breeder who does all the training so i am familiar with the amount of time that goes into the training. I appreciate any help and info. thanks
IMO, 'selling it' the town's council / board will be your biggest issue to start with. Then, there's the budget issue. Do you have a line item in the budget you can use? If not, here is a suggestion/ possible solution:

I know of one department that did not have funding,
They got private donations from the community to start up their K9 program. They were able to outfit the dog , equip the vehicle with cage, auto door opener, etc. and training certification on the dog was done by an in-house certified K9 handler.
Local businesses donated food, local vet donated all vet care.

NOTE: There has to be an addendum to your SOP regarding the K9, by your Chief. Also, the city's insurance carrier will have to be notified.
THE DOG HAS TO BE CERTIFIED BY A RECOGNIZED POLICE K9 ASSOCIATION...and this certification is required annually.

(also, the training of the K9 will be considered overtime and will be an issue to consider)

It was important that the dog had positive public exposure and the dog was used for several community events ...boy scouts, nursing homes, schools etc...in addition to police duties.

After the initial start up, and successful first year, A line item was then put into the city's budget as the K9 had shown success/ proven its worth the year before.
Just a suggestion. - Kat
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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NOTE: There has to be an addendum to your SOP regarding the K9, by your Chief. Also, the city's insurance carrier will have to be notified.
THE DOG HAS TO BE CERTIFIED BY A RECOGNIZED POLICE K9 ASSOCIATION...and this certification is required annually.

(also, the training of the K9 will be considered overtime and will be an issue to consider)

Actually, K9 should have it's own SOP. IT should detail training requirements; certification requirements, deployment guidelines etc.

Training can be conducted within the duty day. The "industry standard" recommended by most certification agencies, is 16 hours per month, documented. All training and utilization/ deployments must be documented, which should also be outlined in the SOP.

There is a requirement for FLSA, or compensation for caring for a dog that is kenneled at the home. that can be worked out, but it is required.

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Old 08-16-2012, 07:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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To the OP, I will give you a call today, your Chief is right about City Council. As a City Councilman for 15 years, and having Public Safety and Finance as my departments over the years, I will tell you that the three main issues with Council will be Public perception, Cost, and utilization. Also, demographics of your community will factor in. Of course I am pro K9, so I am familiar with approaches that resonate positively with Governing Bodies.
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