The Chatham-Kent Police Service has one police dog, Helix, who is a dual-purpose dog.
Helix, is a German Shepherd from Ontario with West German blood lines. Helix is particularly gifted in drug detection but is also trained in the following areas:
- Open Search Criminal Apprehension/Stand-Off
- Building Search Criminal Apprehension/Hold
- Article Search Tracking
- Tactical Containment
The Chatham-Kent Police K9 Unit is deployed on patrol both during the day and night shifts. The canine officer with his police dog partner respond to calls for service similar to any other police officer within the municipality. This breed was chosen for their physical ability, strength and intelligence. A strong temperament is very important as the dog is expected to perform in stressful situations.
Police dogs have many responsibilities. Their expertise includes tracking, agility, article searches, building searches, open searches, chase and apprehension, and handler protection. They are used to provide containment and to assist our Critical Incident Response Team. Our handler is on call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. All handlers must complete an extensive fifteen week course where the handler and dog learn as a team.
These are highly-trained and assertive animals, however, they are able to interact with the public. The K9 Unit provides numerous public demonstrations and school presentations per year. These demonstrations allow us to showcase the abilities of our canine partner and inform the public of his importance. These animals have a huge responsibility to keep our members and the public safe.