The Pembroke Pines Police Department established the K-9 Unit in 1979. Since the unit’s inception, the amount of handlers has increased to match the demands of the city.
These K-9 teams must complete a rigorous evaluation process. Once selected, the handler and canine attend a 480 hour K-9 Academy. Upon completing this process they must complete an annual certification through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The Pembroke Pines Police K-9 Unit consists of five dog teams. Their primary function is to patrol high crime areas and to provide support to the uniformed patrol units as well as investigators.
All five of the dog teams are trained and certified in patrol work. These five teams are also cross trained in one additional specific area (narcotics detection or explosive detection). The K-9 teams are used to apprehend criminals, detect evidence, and assist in potentially violent situations. Hundreds of criminal suspects have been captured as a result of the unit's dedication and efforts.
In addition to their regular duties, members of the K-9 Unit routinely work with outside agencies to include:
- ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives)
- DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)
- FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
- Local agencies
- Secret Service
- U.S. Customs
The Pembroke Pines Police K-9 Unit promotes positive police and community relations with area businesses, organizations, and individuals. The unit has developed a proactive program of awareness and education regarding the role of K-9 officers within law enforcement.
This has provided an opportunity for the K-9 Unit to respond to the great support it receives from the community. The K-9 Unit also performs at many community events and activities such as National Night Out Against Crime, police and fire open house, and career days at local schools.