Tulsa K9s on duty Desk – tulsapeople.com
The dogs of the Tulsa Police Department’s K9 Unit are trained for two things: to catch bad guys and to detect narcotics. And yes, they will bite.
For the most part, “you have to do three things wrong to get bit,” Lt. Chris Moudy says. “You have to commit a felony, you have to run and then you have to not give up when we find you.”
Moudy leads the K9 Unit, which assists officers in the field. The dogs’ sensitive noses allow them to pick up on things police might miss, such as a suspect who is just out of sight.
“They’re not pets, and they’re not expendable,” Moudy explains of the dogs. “We don’t send them on suicide missions, but they are to give us distance — a little more warning.”
TPD currently has 10 K9s — all German Shepherds or Belgian Malinoises — and 11 handlers, who are officers assigned to train and care for their individual dogs at work and at home.
“Not every department across the country does what we do,” Moudy says. “We get a completely green dog, and we train it from the ground up — from obedience to narcotics detection to the bite work.”
The unit is in the process of replacing two dogs, one that recently died and another that is getting older. Police dogs are between 1 and 3 when they start training, and Moudy says they generally retire around age 9. At that point, another officer usually adopts the dog.
“We really are an excellent field supplement because these guys are awesome officers,” he says. “Now add in the dog, and it just makes them that much more of a valuable resource.”