Danny Parker - February BLOG



It’s no secret that in today’s world police use of force is being looked at under a microscope. With social media everyone is an expert when in fact they have no idea. These days there are actual groups that follow, investigate and then put their own twist on selected parts of police body cam footage to paint an entirely different picture of the incident to fit their agenda.

As K9 handlers if you do not know it police K9 teams have our own separate following which post video after video, edited of course, of K9 apprehensions that have been released by police departments. Most of the videos do not show what lead up to the use of the K9. They are going so far as to obtaining K9 apprehensions stats and only posting the ones that benefit them. The most common remarks are police dogs are racially motivated! With all of this negative publicity we face these days K9 used to apprehend suspects must be utilized much different than in the past. If we do not become stricter and smarter on the situations we face and tighten up our K9 policies when we can use our dogs to apprehend suspects the government eventually will force everyone to train our dogs differently no longer allowing find and bite dogs or requiring apprehension to be on lead only no off leash deployments or do away with apprehension dogs all together. Common sense when deploying your dog is the key to avoid all of this. We all work within our department’s policy and procedures but in some cases the deployment of the K9 doesn’t always meet the level of force we use with the K9. Remember don’t do it because you can. Do it because you have to. The fleeing suspect must be a threat to the public or the other officers otherwise the use of the K9 should be restricted to searching and locating the suspects unless the situation escalates. We all know that in today’s world politicians and anti police are putting a lot of pressure on Law Enforcement and will do anything they can to push their agenda in their favor. Currently 2 major cities have their K9 units on hold while they evaluate their policies and procedures for how their K9’s will be utilized.


In one state a bill has been passed setting limitations on the K9 units. This bill states that a peace officer may not use an unleashed police dog for the purpose of arresting or apprehending another person. We all know that K9 officer’s chances of being injured or killed are already higher than regular uniform officers. But now putting restrictions such as this and I’m sure there’s more to come, just makes it more dangerous for all of us out there on the front line. Normally these bills or policies are implemented because of an incident resulting from bad judgment or improper training. Ninety-nine percent of the time the problem is not with the dog but with the handler. We all need to get ahead of this and everyone needs to look at their own policies for K9 as well as their use of force policies and know where the use of the K9 to apprehend fits in. Make the proper changes and meet with the other handlers on your department and in your area. Discuss and make sure they understand the policy and the Do’s and Don’ts. Keep records of deployments to include reason for deployment, suspects name, age, sex, race, combative, armed, charges and injuries. If the K9 makes contact with the suspect then a separate use of force report needs to be completed. These reports should be utilized in house only but the administration will at least have the stats when asked to provide. Each one of the categories above are areas these anti-police groups and defense attorneys are focusing on and creating the most issues out of.


What’s even worse is when the departments do not make sure training records are kept up to date and / or policies that are vague and do not fall in line with the use of force policies and no statistics kept. Please go out on the web and do some research on the groups that are watching you, what they are focusing on and what negative things they are saying about K9 units and how the dogs are being used. You would be surprised to find out who your real enemies are. Through the rest of the year we will be giving classes at the various seminars addressing these issues and as always it will be an open forum. And welcome any and all comments. We feel this topic is super important and everyone in the industry needs to be on the same page. If there are things you feel we need to discuss or add on this topic please send your comments to me at Danny@VohneLiche.com We want to make sure we get as much information as we can out to everyone.

     Danny Parker.