In order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Greenville Police Department, the Canine (K-9) Services Unit provides highly trained canine team(s) to protect persons and property in Greenville, and increase the safety of Officers confronting any suspect(s) representing a threat.
Canine teams are a valuable tool in law enforcement. They are used for criminal apprehension, building searches, area searches, evidence detection, narcotics or explosive detection, tracking missing persons, tracking fleeing persons, crowd control, and for promoting favorable public relations.
The Greenville Police Department K-9 Services Unit consist of 6 dog teams. The unit is under the direction of Lt. Mike Austin, assigned to the Field Operations Division. The dog teams work regular shifts supporting uniformed patrol officers in their daily patrol activities. Unlike patrol officers, the dog teams are not assigned to a beat and can work the entire city.
This allows the K-9 units to work problem areas and to focus on criminal interdiction. All K-9 units are on-call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to assist in the detection of contraband and explosives, and to locate missing persons and fleeing criminal suspects. All dog handlers are responsible for their dog at all times, living at home with their handler and family.
The police dogs go through a 600 hour training course with their handlers before they are allowed to work the streets. After the initial training course, the dog and handler are then certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA). This is a yearly certification that the dog team must pass in order to continue working in the community. Dog teams train 10 hours per week to maintain their keen skills.
K-9's Rocky, Valor, Saber, Leo and Sarge are dual purpose patrol dogs. These dogs are skilled at drug detection, tracking, building searches, article searches, handler protection, aggression control and obedience. Leo's dual purpose has him working with explosive detection units; whereas Scooter solely works in narcotics detection. Working hand-in-hand with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the K-9 units provide safety and security to the citizens of the City of Greenville.
K-9 patrol vehicles are equipped with specialized equipment to transport our dogs and keep them safe. The vehicles are equipped with alarms that notify the handler of the temperature inside the vehicle to assure the inside of the vehicles are kept at a comfortable temperature for the dog. The vehicles are also equipped with remote "door poppers" which allow the handler to release their dog in situations where the handler is in trouble or is being attacked.
Our K-9 teams are available to the public to do canine demonstrations and to participate in community functions. They frequently visit schools, churches and businesses to display the unit's abilities. If you would like a member of our team to visit your function please give us a call and we will be glad to assist you. Our dogs and handlers love to show off their skills and professionalism.
If you would like to make a donation to the Greenville Police Department K9 Unit, please make your checks out to The Greenville Police Department K9 Fund and send them to the below address:
Greenville Police Department
c/o Jeneen Graham
4 McGee Street
Greenville, SC 29601