In March of 2004, the Alton Police Department reinstated its Canine Program after having gone several years without the program.
The Canine Teams:
The Alton Police Department currently has one canine team or K-9 Unit. Each K-9 Unit consists of one trained canine handler and one trained full-service police dog.
Typically three types of dogs are used as full-service police dogs. The police dogs are usually as follows: the traditional German Sheppard, the popular Belgium Malinois, and the not so popular Dutch Sheppard. Occasionally police agencies may use a Labrador/Receiver for narcotics/explosive detection and bloodhounds for tracking. Even then there is always an exception to the rule and the police agency may have a dog not mentioned.
A full-service police dog is trained to do many important police functions. Of course most important, all training begins with obedience. Training is also a continuous part of the handler's responsibilities.
All the departments K9 teams are an asset to the department. If you see any of the K-9 handlers on duty, feel free to ask them questions. If a handler currently has his dog outside the vehicle, please keep your distance from the K-9 unit and DO NOT PET the dog without the handlers consent.
If you have any further questions, comments or concerns you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. .