K-9 and drug detection dogs
The Palm Bay Police Department’s Canine Unit is among the best and most highly trained in the State of Florida. The K-9 Teams assigned to the Uniform Services Division are cross-trained for Patrol (handler protection, building search, area search, tracking, and evidence search). All teams are certified through FDLE as Patrol dogs, which is a minimum standard. Teams also have advanced certifications through North American Police Work Dog for drug detection and Patrol when training funds are available.
The dogs and their handlers must train hundreds of hours to become re-certified to work in the public arena.
2010 started as a rebuilding year for the Unit. Three new dogs began service during the year with two new handlers, Officer Sean Dutill and Officer Dan Ellis. Officer Dutill acquired K-9 "Krypto", an 18-month old German Shepherd, and Officer Ellis acquired K-9 "Idol", a 22-month old German Shepherd. The teams began Patrol School in March 2010 completing the Palm Bay PD patrol certification. Teams aggressively hit the road but overwhelming requests for drug detection became a priority that reduced response to routine road patrol and calls for service. Teams completed Palm Bay PD drug certification in October.
STATE AND NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONS
- Officer Sean Dutill & K-9 "Krypto" certified in FDLE K9 Patrol, NAPWDA Utility (tracking), and Drug Detection
- Officer Dan Ellis & K-9 "Idol" certified in FDLE K9 Patrol, NAPWDA Utility (tracking/apprehension) and Drug Detection
- Officer Brian Knaple & K-9 "Sheba" certified in FDLE K9 Patrol
- Officer Jeff Nickle & K-9 "Guichu" certified in FDLE K9 Patrol
- Officer George Von Edwins and K-9 "Delta"
- Officer Byron Patrick & K-9 "Patriot"
North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) Utility Dog consists of Obedience, Apprehension, Area Search, Building Search, Evidence Search, and Tracking.
NAPWDA Drug dogs are tested on marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and Methamphetamine odors. The test consists of five vehicles with interior and exterior hides on four and one blank; four hides in an open area; and four hides in five rooms with one room blank.