Dogs have been by law enforcements since the middle ages, as they offer a supporting role in the reduction of crime, and these day are used all over the world as an important and irreplaceable part of the police force. Some people think of police dogs as aggressive and often attacking people for no reason. However, police dogs are used for a range of different jobs to play a vital role in assisting police with their work.
Normally referred to as “K-9” in the US, many different breeds are used as police dogs, although the German Shepherd is the most popular. Police dogs must be intelligent, quick learners, aggressive, strong and have a good sense of smell. There are many kinds of specialized dogs, which train in specific areas, such as search and rescue, detection or explosive sniffing, arson dogs and cadaver dogs.
Police dogs can complete searches much faster and better than humans due to their superior sense of smell. They are used in airport to detect forbidden items, and to search buildings or large areas where the search will be completed much quicker and efficiently than possible by officers.
More important than saving time, police dogs enhance officer safety as they can alert officers of hiding suspects. Dogs are trained to trail suspects from crime scenes, and to pursue and detain offenders until officers arrive. Police dogs also intimidate suspects, and many officers find that people are more cooperative when they are accompanied by a dog.
As well as tracking suspects, the dogs are also used to search for possessions and missing persons. This is hugely important as missing persons are normally urgent and difficult to find, some dogs have been able to follow human tracks as old as 48 hours.
Another vital asset of police dogs is that they can detect explosives, drugs, money, weapons and even dead bodies. Dogs can track illegal drugs that would never be found by humans, even if suspects have tried to hide the smell in air tight containers or even under the ground. Dogs can also detect hidden murder weapons.