FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I set up a K-9 demonstration for my organization/school?
To set up a K-9 demonstration, please contact the K-9 Unit Supervisor, Lt. Hill by emailing him at email@example.com. He will coordinate a date and time convenient to you and your organization. The demonstration presented will be age appropriate in content and duration which usually consists of photos, videos and slides presented in a PowerPoint type format. Some demonstrations may include a live showing of a police dog working in a scent detection capacity. Depending upon time and the size of the group, there may be an opportunity for viewers to meet the police dog or take group photos with the police dog and handler.
What breed of dogs do are used in the K-9 Unit?
The Willingboro Police Department K-9 Unit currently has German Shepherds as police dogs. In the past, the Department had two Rottweilers, a black Labrador Retriever, and briefly had a Belgian Malinois. Nationwide, police departments have found that German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds tend to make the best dual purpose police dogs (meaning they conduct both patrol work and scent work like narcotics detection). These breeds have been found to have the right combination of intelligence, strength, agility, an excellent sense of smell, speed, mental and physical toughness, as well as being highly trainable. Handlers and their trainers will often times test many dogs to find the right dog for the job and even then, not every dog capable of completing the training.
How can I donate/support the K-9 Unit?
You can make a monetary donation in one of three ways:
Can I send toys, dog food, treats, etc. to the K-9 Unit?
Can you train my dog to behave or can you train my dog to protect me?
Due to liability reasons, the members of the K-9 Unit are not authorized to train dogs outside of the Unit. There are many licensed and insured dog trainers in the area. Feel free to research them and select one that suits your needs.
My dog is too much for me but will make a great police dog. Can I donate him to the K-9 Unit?
The K-9 Unit does not accept donated dogs. While there are some exceptions, most dogs that come from a home environment do not successfully complete the training to become a dual purpose police dog. There are many rescue organizations that can be found online that take in dogs as well as the Burlington County Animal Shelter. Research them online and you should be able to find a loving home for your dog.
How does someone become a K-9 Handler?
To become a Police K-9 Handler, you must first work for a police department that has a K-9 Unit (not all police departments have K-9 Units). Once hired by the department, you would have to complete the basic police officers course (6 months) followed by a field training program (3.5 months). You would then have to serve in the patrol division for approximately 2 to 5 years (depending on the department). Once a position in the K-9 Unit becomes available, you would have to complete the department's selection process. If you are selected, you would have to complete the basic K-9 handler's course (4-6 months on average). Once you have successfully finshed that, you would have earn the title of Police K-9 Handler.
Can I adopt one of the police dogs when they retire?
Unfortunately, no. Once a police dog retires, they are adopted by their handlers or a member of the K-9 Unit. Due to liability, the K-9 Unit will not turn over a dog with police training to a civilian owner.
How long to the dogs work as a Police K-9?
The dogs will usually work until they are about 8-10 years old, based on their health. If they are physically able to work longer, then they work longer. If they have a career ending injury or show signs of age related ailments early, we will retire them early.