How open are they to the idea? There are some significant start up costs, even with one handler. They need to allocate the position, a specially equipped vehicle, cost of the dog (6 - 12K), training time each week. Plus a kennel, concrete, house for the dog. training equipment. Being able to take the handler off the street for initial training which could be 4 weeks to 4 months for patrol training. Budgets have to be set up for the maintenance of the dog, i.e., vet bills, food, equipment, vehicles.
To be successful it has to be a "top-down" supported program. If the upper brass is not fully behind the program it won't be successful.
The handlers have to be compensated for the time to care for the dog. The dog needs to be cared for off duty and on days off. Some PD's I know pay an additional 5% of salary for the time to care for the dog. My PD doesn't pay an extra %, but gives an hour of day towards care for the dog. I also get an hour on my days off for care of the dog. There are FLSA regulations that cover a K-9 handler for his off duty time caring for the dog. Having a Police K-9 living at your house is a huge responsibility and a potential liability. It is a much greater responsibility having a K-9 at the house then the same dog that is not a "Police K-9."
Sounds like a couple of dual purpose dogs could be a huge asset to your city. I hope it works out.
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