Because dogs have such a superior sense of smell, a K9’s primary role in Law Enforcement is as a searching tool. When officers need help locating a suspect, narcotics, evidence, firearms, or even explosives they will use a K9. The media likes to portray Police K9s as “attack dogs,” but in reality, an apprehension where a K9 bites a suspect occurs less often than people realize.
Currently the Webster Police Department (WPD) K9 Unit consists of one handler (Officer Aaron Suss) who works two canines (Red and Radar). K9 “Red” is an American bred German Shepherd currently used as a single purpose Narcotic Detection dog. K9 “Radar” is trained as a single purpose patrol dog. Officer Suss takes both dogs to work in a Ford Expedition which has a special split kennel that affords both of them enough comfortable space.
Basic Mission of the K9 Unit
The K9 Unit is a part of the WPD Patrol Division. The K9 Unit’s primary mission is to perform basic police related duties, such as answering calls for service, while supplementing the Patrol and Detective Divisions with K9 applications. K9 Red and Radar’s primary use as “searching tools” make WPD Officers more effective in solving crimes and keeping the Town’s residents and its Officers safe.
The K9 Unit’s secondary mission is community policing oriented. Officer Suss and the department K9’s educate the public about the police department’s mission, the K9’s specific function within the department, and general safety. This is done through lectures and demonstrations both in and out of the community.
Over the past few years they have done K9 Demonstrations for different organizations such as area schools, elder groups, churches, the Boys and Girls Scouts, and many other civic groups to name a few. Every year they do a demonstration for National Night Out and for the Police Department’s annual Junior Police Academy.
The police department encourages requests from different community organizations for demonstrations and tries their best to fill them. Any requests can be forwarded to the Office of the Chief of Police. All in-town organizations will be given priority over non-Webster events.