COLLETON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
394 MABLE T. WILLIS BLVD. WALTERBORO, SC 29488
MAIN PHONE: 843-549-2211 FAX: 843-549-1449
NON EMERGENCY NUMBER: DISPATCH: 843-782-4420
EMERGENCY DIAL: 911
K9 (canine) officers are law enforcement professionals who partner with police dogs (K9s) in the execution of their duties. Canine officers agree to the additional responsibility of training and caring for their police K9s. Police dogs may fulfill one of several roles:
Detector dogs assist law enforcement in detecting illegal substances, such as narcotics or explosives, and substances such as gas that are often used in criminal activities. According to the United States Police Canine Association, patrol dogs are “‘find and bite dog(s)’, who find suspects by tracking or searching and bite and hold them.” Scent specialty dogs use their scent to track evidence or individuals. Dogs are usually trained in one particular area – such as missing person or cadaver search – and focus on that area for their careers.
Law enforcement can generally use any type of dog with a penchant for hunting and retrieving and for detection assistance as long as the dog receives proper training, though German Shepherds are the most recognized K9 breed. Police dogs are often sworn in as officers, receiving their own badges and ID numbers, and officers must be specially trained to handle their canine partner. Positions in K9 units are typically few in number and highly coveted, resulting in fierce competition. Advancement opportunities to supervisor may be possible for K9 officers with extensive experience. Canine officers generally work for law enforcement agencies.
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