In Zionsville, K-9s are considered full-fledged police officers. Besides being terrific companions, they assist the department in reducing the number of officers needed for a search. K-9s also perform more thorough searches. ZPD currently has two K-9s, Thor and Mika.
Zionsville Police Chief Spears said, "K-9 partners to provide a variety of important duties including searching for lost children or at risk elderly persons who may have wandered from home, detecting illegal drugs, tracking suspects who may have fled from an officer or a crime, as well as valuable community relations activities. Our K-9 teams are very committed to this specialty. They are devoted to service and protection of our town.”
Benefits of K-9s
The benefits of having a police K-9 on the department are:
- A K-9s keen sense of smell helps them to detect items that a human officer might miss, especially drugs and bombs. With training, K9s can even sniff out drugs that are sealed in plastic.
- K-9s can search for flammables and explosives. A positive indication from a K-9 is legal grounds to establish probable cause for a search.
- K-9s are frequently used to track missing people in search-and-rescue missions. Once a dog is given a piece of an item with the scent of a specific person, they can lead the police down the path that person took. This is also useful when tracking down suspects or escaped convicts. During a pursuit or search and rescue mission, every minute counts, so having this extra knowledge is invaluable.
It’s quite common for K9s to make an appearance at local community events. These well-trained and adorable employees help to bond community members with their local police officers. Kids and families may be more likely to approach and engage with a police officer that has a friendly dog nearby.
A K-9 program is costly. The cost of a K-9 can be as much as $10,000 upfront, and that doesn’t include the training of the dog and its handler, which can cost thousands more. Additionally, there are more expenses, such as insurance and specialized patrol vehicles. However, once the program is up and running, most departments can’t imagine going back to the days without a K-9 program.
Zionsville Police Department Donation Program
Donations to the Zionsville Police Department K-9 Fund are tax-deductible. Donations can be made to:
Zionsville Police Department K-9 Fund
1075 Parkway Drive
Zionsville, IN 46077