A K9 officer spends his days working to uphold the law with the help of a trained dog. This dog uses his nose, sight, and hearing for detecting the presence of illegal items or substances. The team also searches out human beings who may be hiding or have been injured or trapped during a natural disaster or an accident. They are also helpful for detecting items people are trying to smuggle from one location to another.
There are many law enforcement agencies that hire K9 officers, and the types of tasks required may depend on the agency and the environment in which the officer and dog are expected to work. Some K9 officers may be given airport assignments, for example. In such a case, the officer works with his dog to detect the presence of illegal drugs or smuggled contraband, which includes anything that is illegal to import or export, in travelers’ luggage.
Sometimes, K9 officers are given border assignments, which means they patrol areas where individuals cross from one country to another. In such a case, a K9 officer and his dog may work together to detect smuggled drugs and prevent them from entering a particular region. The officer and dog team may also work to detect the presence of contraband and even human beings someone is trying to smuggle into or out of a country.
While a K9 officer’s job often includes catching criminals in the act, that’s not all this type of law enforcement officer does. Often, K9 officers help to lead rescue efforts after natural disasters, major accidents, and even terrorist attacks. If a building falls down or otherwise collapses and traps humans in the rubble, an officer and his dog may be instrumental in finding them.
The training required for an individual who wants to become a K9 officer may vary depending on the jurisdiction and particular law enforcement agency. Typically, an individual interested in this field has to become a police officer or other type of law enforcement official first. After gaining experience in law enforcement, he may then go on to train as a K9 officer.
An officer and his dog work as a team. This requires a prospective K9 officer to train with his dog, ensuring that the dog will follow commands and the officer will understand when his dog attempts to alert him to the presence of drugs, criminals, or other items. Often, an officer and his dog continue to train periodically, even after they’ve been a team for quite a while.