The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit reports to the Headquarters Division of the Sheriff's Office and is under the supervision of a sergeant who reports directly to the Headquarter's Patrol Captain.
The breeds used by the Sheriff's Office are German Shepherds, Labradors and Bloodhounds.
There are nine canines in the Unit. Four service canines are assigned to Headquarters Patrol. Service canines are cross-trained for protection and narcotics detection. The Sheriff's Office has one bloodhound trained for service as a tracking dog.
The Sheriff's Office also has two dogs trained in explosives detection and one dog trained in narcotics detection that are assigned to Special Operations.
The canines participate in organized training under the auspices of a paid professional trainer. Each canine and handler are required to pass a certification test which meets the standards set forth by the State of California Peace Officers Standards and Training. A canine cannot be used until the canine and his/her handler have completed their certification testing.
Sheriff's Canines save literally hundreds of man hours each year searching for criminal suspects and missing persons. The canines, with the use of their enhanced sense of smell, can search a location in a fraction of the time that it would take a deputy. Due to the speed in which a canine can complete the search, the deputies are able to return to full service in a much shorter time period.
K-9 UNITS MAY BE CALLED ON FOR THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF INCIDENTS:
Robberies in progress
Burglaries in progress
Breaking and Entering in progress
Assault in progress
Suspicious persons or conditions
Serving warrants to persons that may be dangerous or known to run
K-9 CALLS FOR SERVICE