K9 Law Enforcement Teams (K9)
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department currently has seventeen dual-purpose K9 teams trained to apprehend dangerous criminals and detect hidden narcotics. These dual-purpose teams cover the areas of Hemet, Jurupa, Lake Elsinore, Cabazon, Perris, Indio, Blythe, and the contract cities of Temecula, Moreno Valley, San Jacinto, Perris and Palm Desert. The dogs of this team are currently composed of two breeds: Belgian Malinois, German, and Dutch Shepherds. These teams patrol their assigned areas and work together to ensure the safety of the public and other law enforcement officers by apprehending suspects who are potentially too dangerous to apprehend without incurring significant injury. These teams also work together to locate hidden narcotics with the use of the Patrol Service Dog's incredible inherent ability of smell. These teams are essential to patrol operations and will ultimately save approximately 1,000 man hours per team per year for the department and tax payers.
Our K9 team also employs the use of two Bloodhound tracking dogs. Riverside County Sheriff's Departmentís Bloodhound handlers are well known throughout California and are frequently utilized by many other Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the state to locate fleeing felons, lost hikers, and missing juveniles. Bloodhound handlers and their canine partners are absolutely irreplaceable due to the lives they save on a regular basis.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department also has a fully operational Hazardous Device Team with two explosive detection Patrol Service Dogs. These dogs are used to detect and locate chemical compounds used as explosives to help the Hazardous Device Team locate potential terrorists and criminals in possession of dangerous weapons.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has also recently started two Correctional K9 positions out of the Larry Smith Correctional Facility. Both Correctional K9's and their handlers have been very successful in the jails located throughout Riverside County in locating illegal narcotics, cell phones, tobacco, and jail-made intoxicants inside of the jail facilities.