The Ventura Police Department (VPD) has five K9 Teams assigned to Patrol. The K9 Teams are available for deployment seven days a week, providing protection to our community twenty-four hours a day.
The K9 Unit was started over thirty years ago by retired VPD Lieutenant Dave Inglis. The VPD was one of the first agencies in Ventura County to use canines. Currently, all five of our canines are German Shepherds, however, we have used a Rottweiler in the past. Our canines are partners at work and family friends at home.
The VPD K9 Unit incorporates training on a daily and weekly basis. All of our K9 teams are in a constant state of training as the highly specialized skills they have developed are perishable and can be lost if not practiced regularly.
Our entire unit attend a weekly training session with other local law enforcement K9 Teams. The training is conducted by the Inglis Police Dog Academy and includes obedience, obstacles, officer protection, suspect apprehension, tracking, and narcotics detection.
While at training, the Teams are exposed to various scenarios that help better prepare them for patrol.
The VPD K9 Unit has five canine/handler teams. This allows for two teams to work every day. During a day on patrol, the teams are tasked with assisting on a variety of assignments.
When searching for fleeing suspects, the canines provide a margin of safety for the handler and other officers. The Teams are often asked to search for fleeing suspects or narcotics, and in helping to locate lost or missing people.
The canines have an acute sense of smell and are able to search rooms, houses, and large buildings for suspects hiding where officers might not see them. A K9 can search a building or warehouse in half the time it would take an officer.