On Tuesday, February 4th, Phoenix Police and their K-9 Unit came to speak at our school. What an amazing learning experience. 5th Grader, Kelly Scott, wrote a paper on the presentation:
“I never knew anything about K-9 units. I didn’t even know what they were called. All I knew was police dogs existed. That was until some police officers came to our school and told us all about K-9 units. These are the things I learned about K-9 units.
- The police department buys the dogs when the dogs are close to two years old, so the dogs have had time to mature. The officers see if the dogs have the drive they are looking for.
- If the dog has the traits to be a police dog, they are bought for about $7,000 – $10,000. A trained dog will sell for about $15,000.
- The breeds they usually buy are German Shepherds, Belgium Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, or a mix.
- The dogs usually train for four months before they become police dogs.
- When a police officer receives his/her dog, the dog lives with them every second of every day.
- There are two types of police dogs: a multi-purpose dog and a single-purpose dog. The multi-purpose dogs sniff out anything from drugs to people. The single-purpose dog smells out only one thing, usually drugs. When a dog finds drugs, they scratch at the area or do an active or aggressive alert, which is scratching. When the dogs finish their jobs, they get a piece of hose to chew or doggy treats.
- Another alert is a passive alert. Passive alert dogs sniff the item, but don’t bite it so it doesn’t mess up the evidence. Dogs can bite with up to 250 pounds of pressure per square inch!
- The police dogs usually work until they are about ten years old. They stop at ten because of arthritis. They work so hard every day!! If a police officer wants to retire with his dog, he must pay $1 for it.
K-9 units are very cool. I really enjoyed the presenters that came! I want to be a K-9 handler when I grow up!”
– Kelly Scott, 5th Grade Student at SSJ