The Lafayette Police Department currently has six dual purpose police dogs and one single purpose narcotics dog. The dual purpose dogs are trained in narcotics detection and criminal apprehension. The breeds of dogs utilized by the Lafayette Police Department are German Shepard’s and Belgian Malinois.
In order to be a K-9 handler with the Lafayette Police Department an officer must have at least two years of experience or previous K-9 experience from another agency. Police officer dog handlers go through an initial handler’s course once selected for the position. The training involves the police officer working closely with his or her K-9 for approximately two months. At the completion of the training, the police officer with his or her K-9 would ride with an experienced handler until such time that both the police officer and the K-9 are comfortable in their new position.
Police K-9 officers receive constant in-service training on a weekly basis with a certified trainer. They are also responsible for conducting daily training with their K-9. The dogs require constant attention and care in order to maintain the high standards placed upon them.
The Lafayette Police Department K-9 officers work mostly during the nighttime hours, which is the time their services are in high demand. In the event there would be a need for a K-9 officer during the hours that one is not on duty, the on-call K-9 officer could be called to a scene within thirty minutes. On average the Lafayette Police Department K-9 Unit responds to approximately 1,500 calls for service in a two month period. Types of calls range from burglar alarms, disturbance, civil unrest and all in-progress calls. Rest assure, the four-legged officers are always willing to place themselves in harms way to assist and prevent injury to fellow police officers.