The Oakdale Police Department has had a successful Police Canine Program in years past. However, the program lapsed for a time due to retirement of police service dogs. Police Canines save police departments hundreds of man-hours per year because of the Canine’s ability to search quicker and more efficiently than a human. This is attributed to the Canine’s size, speed, and senses. Because of their abilities, Police Canines make our jobs safer. For these reasons, the Police Canine Program was reinstated and has progressed into a full time detail since 2005.
The Patrol Canine, a German Shepherd, is trained in obedience, tracking, article searching, search and apprehension. The Canine is primarily used to find people and things.
The Canine Handler and Canine have to be certified by passing a P.O.S.T. test to work the street. The Canine Handler and Canine train several hours a month in preparation to maintain and refine their skills and to assist with all facets of the department in tracking and searches.
The Handler and Canine have received several hours of training in searching for illegal narcotics and have to be certified by passing a P.O.S.T. test to be used. The Handler and Canine devote several hours per month to refine their skills.
The Canine Handlers are with their Canine Partners, at home and at work, and form a strong bond with one another. Because of the dedication to the program and strong bond formed between the Canine Handler and Canine, being a Canine Handler requires total commitment both on and off duty.