In March of 2004, the Alton Police Department reinstated its Canine Program after having gone several years without the program.
The Canine Teams:
The Alton Police Department currently has two canine teams or K-9 Units. Each K-9 Unit consists of one trained canine handler and one trained full-service police dog.
Typically three types of dogs are used as full-service police dogs. The police dogs are usually as follows: the traditional German Shepherd, the popular Belgian Malinois, and the not so popular Dutch Shepherd. Occasionally police agencies may use a Labrador/Retriever for narcotics/explosive detection and bloodhounds for tracking. Even then there is always an exception to the rule and the police agency may have a dog not mentioned.
A full-service police dog is trained to do many important police functions. Of course most important, all training begins with obedience. Training is also a continuous part of the handler's responsibilities.
All the departments K9 teams are an asset to the department. If you see any of the K-9 handlers on duty, feel free to ask them questions. If a handler currently has his dog outside the vehicle, please keep your distance from the K-9 unit and DO NOT PET the dog without the handlers consent.
If you have any further questions, comments or concerns you may click here to email the K9 Unit.
Photos of the K9 units coming soon.