The K-9 Program is an essential tool in the fight against crime, and provides protection for the officers and the community. When K-9 officers are not responding to calls, they patrol the business and residential areas of the city in an effort to deter and detect crime.
The canine team’s primary functions are to:
- respond to alarm and prowler calls,
- conduct building and article searches,
- sniff out drugs,
- and track suspects.
Before an officer is chosen to be a canine handler, the officer goes through a testing process. The officer must show a unique dedication toward the canine unit, and must have accommodations at home for their new partner. The dogs, which are German Shepherds, are imported from Germany.
The police officer handler will go through a sixteen week initial training session. The bonding between the officer and the canine is very important during this time. In order to solidify this bonding, training is ongoing throughout the partnership of the canine team. When the officer is not working, the canine stays at home with the officer and his or her family. Retired dogs normally live with handlers for the rest of their lives.
The Police K-9 Program began in 1983 with three K-9 Teams.
The original K-9 Teams were:
- Officer Villanueva & K-9 Nick,
- Officer Kirst & K-9 Caro,
- and Officer Gillette & K-9 Barney.
Barney, Caro and Nick were purchased with funds raised through donations made to the Fullerton Police K-9 Program.
If you would like to help continue this valuable law enforcement program, you can make a tax deductible donation to the Fullerton Police K-9 Program, 237 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA92832.