Being a canine handler is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding positions in police work. The Harrison Police Department has a K9 Division which operates within the Patrol Division.
A police canine is a valuable law enforcement tool. Police canine’s have a keen sense of eyesight, speed, and sense of smell. They can perform certain tasks faster, at less cost that police officers, and with less risk to officers and the public.
Police canines are used in many situations, including: to search for hidden suspects, apprehend fleeing suspects, search for missing persons, search for evidence, protect the handler and other officers, clear vehicles after a high risk traffic stop, conduct public demonstration, search for and detect odor of narcotics, and be a visual deterrent of crime.
Many times people outside of law enforcement misunderstand how the dogs are actually used and deployed. Police canines are sometimes perceived as vicious animals. Under some circumstances police canines are required to apprehend criminals by biting, but their true use is to locate suspects who are hiding. The majority of K9 deployments do no result in bites.
Police canines live with their handlers and their families during service and when they retire. The dogs are carefully chosen to have a strong retrieval drive, above average curiosity, and be fearless and outgoing.
The Harrison Police Department has two active Police K9s. K9 Arby is 10 years old and K9 Von is 7 years old. Both have made several suspect apprehensions and large narcotic seizures for the town of Harrison and throughout Westchester County.