Train with your Canine Officers
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip comes to us compliments of my friend Sergeant Bill Lewis, who provides public safety canine training here in California and it deals with Canine Officers training together with their backup officers.
A canine deployment is a team operation. And every team operation requires teamwork. Good teamwork requires training.
You may have heard the saying before, “If you don’t train together, don’t deploy together.” This saying holds true with our patrol teams out there. Most law enforcement canine teams train extensively. That is, the handler and the canine train together and train a lot. But most of our canine teams are assigned to the Patrol Division. And most of the time, when a canine team is deployed, patrol officers or deputies will be assigned as the backup. Unlike the handlers, these folks may not have EVER trained with the canine.
Think about it for a minute. When do canines usually get sent to a call? High risk situations, right? Dangerous felons hiding, contained by the perimeter we established. A canine deployment is a team operation. And every team operation requires teamwork. Good teamwork requires training. “On the job training” may work in some situations, but it is dangerous on many levels when we are talking about back up officers working with a canine team. Now, I know what some of you training managers are saying out there, “Hey, we had our personnel train with the canine. We had a training session with everyone right after we purchased the dog and before that first deployment.” I agree that initial training is important. But we need to conduct ongoing training to reinforce and refresh the skills, tactics and mindset necessary when working with the canine. Working with a canine team should be considered a perishable skill. Train, train and train some more. More importantly, train together!
And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.