The Sheriff's Canine Unit is comprised of fourteen dogs trained in bomb detection, tracking, property recovery, handler protection, and narcotic detection. In 2019, the Sheriff's Canine Unit responded to 1,086 requests for police service, including 774 searches throughout the County and 177 tracks. The Canine Unit is available and on call to any police agency in the County who requests them.
The Canine Unit has assisted in finding lost children, robbery suspects and burglars throughout the year. They have also assisted in a number of narcotic searches during drug raids for several police agencies, including the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team, and is responsible for the seizure and recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of hidden drugs.
These exceptionally well-trained four-legged crime fighters are extremely adept in recovering stolen property and recovering evidence from crime scenes. Called upon by various school districts throughout the County, our K-9 team assists with narcotics searches in upper-grade-level schools and school parking lot areas as well.
Becoming a Canine Officer
Candidates for the canine unit are selected by the Sheriff. Each applicant must have at least three years' seniority with the department and at least one year in Patrol Services. Once the officer is selected, they enter an intensive five-week training academy with a dog that is pre-trained by the Oakland Police Academy. The finished team is provided a special vehicle and weekly training in order to maintain and reinforce their skills.