About the Program
The Monroe Police Department K-9 Program began in 1994 with K-9 Jake who was a well-loved member of our agency and this community. We now employ two canines, one for patrol functions, and one for narcotics detection, both of which provide 24-hour, seven days a week coverage.
The Monroe Police canines are often the most recognized among our officers. They are frequently involved in community activities. Each year our canines complete over 80 demonstrations and classes for our community. We remain available to provide classes or demonstrations to the civic groups or schools. For more information, please contact Sergeant Carswell at 360-863-4577. Meet the K-9 Team.
Patrol K-9s attend training in excess of 400 hours during a basic canine course. The team is then tested and certified under the Washington State Police Canine Association and Washington Administrative Code standards. Once certified, patol dogs and handlers continue training a minimum of 16 hours a month for the life of the dog. The dogs are trained for tracking, criminal apprehension, evidence search, building and area search, officer protection, narcotics detection, and later, tactical operations. Handlers and dogs validate annually on these standards.
Narcotic K9s go through training conducted by Master Trainer Christina Bunn of Puget Sound Detection Dogs prior to being assigned to their handler. Once a handler is assigned, the handler attends a basic handler course and completes in excess of 200 hours of training prior to being deployed in the field. The dogs are trained to detect the odors of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Heroin. Handlers and their K9s are certified yearly through the Pacific Northwest Detection Dog Association.
Why Do We Use K-9s?
Our canines are an invaluable tool in maintaining the safety of the public and our officers. Suspects have often given up rather than confront our canines making it safer for officers and citizens. These dogs have aided officers in apprehending escaped prisoners, wanted felons, and locating drugs and evidence from crime scenes. Our canines have helped to solve cases and apprehend many wanted suspects helping ensure the safety of our citizens.
Having our own canine unit affords our department with improved officer safety in high-risk situations and faster response and clearing times to those calls.
What Kind of Calls Do We Respond to?
During the past few years, the most common applications were building searches, followed by tracking, with the most common time for calls between 2:00 am and 3:00 am. The dogs have had several occasions to participate in SWAT operations, assist other agencies, and assist in subduing violent offenders. Our dogs are also trained for passive tracking and have located lost/missing children on several occasions.