In 1995 I went to Paris to work with a particular special police unit involved in several battles with terrorists and high-level criminals in and outside France. It was the first time I’d worked with a group that used K9’s. I will never forget what one of their team-leaders told me about the Dogs: “Most of the time when a suspect hears that there are K9’s as part of the equation, they give up.”
In this time of hard discussions regarding the way we want to police our communities, I want to share how useful and SAFE the working K9’s are. The Dog, once sent to apprehend a subject, can be called back. A bullet, once it leaves the barrel of a gun, cannot return. The same is true with a taser. Have there been any deaths caused by K9’s? In the history of using K9’s in communities, I can find two. Two among the thousands of K9 deployments that have occurred since we began keeping records.
The K9 brings a level of protection, even in its use with violent suspects. Dog bites hurt, but are not by and large, “life-threatening.” The K9, by its very presence, can de-escalate a situation—an important fact and one that needs to be reflected on while discussing policing in our communities.
At Spike’s, our mission is to protect the K9’s who serve our community. Part of doing that is in educating our supporters in their use and the realities of their work.
The K9 trained to conduct violence on those who’ve demonstrated disregard for our laws is an essential part of community policing.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. We have among us, humans who want to do bad things and K9’s help us to apprehend safely those who threaten our fellow citizens or us. These K9’s protect the innocent and the officers we ask to represent us in violent situations.
Please help us help them.