The Willingboro Police Department first established their K-9 Unit in 1966, making it the longest, continually run K-9 program in Burlington County. Ever since K-9 Hugo hit the streets with Officer Leedom, the Willingboro Police Department has held a proud tradition of training and working some of the best police dogs in the area.
The police dogs of the K-9 Unit are utilized by the Department as locating tools. Whether officers are searching for criminal suspects, narcotics, evidence of a crime, or even lost children, a properly trained K-9 gives the police officers in the field a distinct advantage. A dog's sense of smell is thousands upon thousands of times stronger than a humans sense of smell, and it is this innate ability that makes a police dog such an invaluable resource.
Our K-9's are trained to meet or exceed the standards set in the NJ Attorney Guideline for K-9 Training. This training includes Obedience, Agility, Building Searches, Area/Field Searches, Article Searches, Tracking, Criminal Apprehension, and Handler Protection. Our K-9's also have training in narcotics detection. These skills are frequently utilized by patrol officers, narcotics officers, and the SWAT team.
Our K-9 teams proudly and faithfully serve the residents of Willingboro and have provided mutual aid services to many of the other townships in Burlington County as well as a few in Camden County. Our K-9 teams have also assisted other agencies such as the New Jersey State Police, DEA, US Marshals, US Coast Guard, and even the IRS.
In addition to their roles as officers on the streets, our K-9 teams also serve as ambassadors to the public they serve by way of the many public demonstrations that are conducted annually. From participating as part of reading programs for elementary schools, to the DARE and GREAT programs, to National Night Out for both children and adults alike, our K-9 teams engage the public in a positive way that no other police unit can.
Currently, the Willingboro Police Department has two K-9 teams on the streets and the goal is to train more in an effort to give the Police Department K-9 services on each shift, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.