The Winter Park Police K-9 Unit personnel work at various hours to help to maximize coverage and availability. When not regularly on duty, handlers are also on a on-call status and can responded within minutes to scene if needed. In addition to their regular patrol duties, the handlers and their partners continuously train on a regular basis to maintain the dogs efficiency.
A K-9 Team provides back-up support and other assistance to uniform patrol officers who respond to a reported crime in progress. When called upon to do so, a K-9 Team will search a building, a vehicle, a street or a wooded area for an offender, a suspect, a missing person, contraband drugs or explosives in support of another officer. A K-9 Team also lends its specialized search skills and its back-up support to members of the S.W.A.T. Team and the Special Investigations Unit during the execution of an arrest warrant or a search warrant and to law enforcement personnel conducting domestic security sweeps. The K-9 Unit’s role in conducting area sweeps for explosives has expanded due to domestic security issues. K-9 Team support increases officer safety and increases the probability of suspect/offender apprehension or the discovery of an explosive substance or device. A K-9 Team may be dispatched as the lead or the reporting officer when a uniform patrol officer who is assigned to a particular zone is not available to take a call for service. When not providing assistance in support of another officer or unit or when not assigned as the reporting officer on a call, a K-9 Team will perform routine preventive patrol.
Mutual aid agreements with other Central Florida city and county law enforcement agencies occasionally result in the dispatching of a K-9 Team outside the City to assist with an emergency call or situation, especially with a call to attempt to locate a missing child, an elderly person or an explosive substance or with a search for a fleeing armed robbery, burglary or murder suspect.
In furtherance of law awareness education and positive public relations, K-9 members regularly present public lectures and demonstrations at which they display a K-9 team’s skills and capabilities as well as provide an appropriate venue for direct, one-on-one communication with a citizen/child in the immediate presence of the dog. This personal contact reinforces the fact that a police K-9 dog is aggressive only when called upon by his handler to be so.