K9 of JSMU Security unit which has specific tasks. These tasks are related to search and rescue, seizure, and other various duties assigned by their branch. The relationship between a K9 dog and his or her handler requires a closeness and ability to communicate and work together well as a team. A judicious obedience to hand-signals, voice commands, and pre-meditated training procedures is required from the dog. This is complemented by an equal amount of respect, patience, and diligence from the handler.
Search and Rescue
K9 units are usually employed during natural and man-made disasters such as mud slides, tornadoes, building collapses, and floods to locate survivors who may be trapped or unconscious under debris. This also extends to lost and missing people, such as hikers who have been stranded in the wilderness or kidnapping victims. The keen olfactory senses of dogs also make them useful for pinpointing cadavers and organic tissue.
In many cases where there has been a bomb threat, a shooting, or the presence of illicit substances, a K9 unit will be used to locate and identify a variety of different objects and/or compounds which will either be used as evidence or clues. More and more, units are being trained to detect for specific items. These items include drugs like cocaine or marijuana, or the presence of chemicals related to incendiary devices. The detection of discharged firearms is also a priority, both in terms of locating expelled shells and casings, as well as identifying individuals responsible who have residual burn odors on them. In a growing number of cases involving poachers, duties might also include locating illegal quarry and tracking offenders to their base of operations.
K9 units may be responsible for the pursuit and apprehension of fugitives. This requires excellent physical conditioning of both dog and handler, as well as the ability to respond quickly and correctly to commands. Apprehension might also involve the tracking of suspects, and a considerable portion of K9 training is the employment of the dog in taking down assailants while protecting officers and the public from potential harm.