The Charleston Police Department utilizes 3 certified K-9 Officers to assist with patrol and the citizens of Charleston. The K-9 unit assists with officers request to perform vehicle, residential, or area sweeps for narcotics and are also used for in-progress calls to assist with tracking and locating possible suspects. The unit is available at all times for call-out, but members are also assigned to evening and nighttime shifts to assist with the patrol functions such as:
- The Aviation Authority
- Isle of Palms Police Department
- Mt. Pleasant Police Department
- Sullivan's Island Police Department
- The U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Marshall's Service
- The Charleston County Sheriff's Office
Skills & Training
The K-9 officers maintain a high level of proficiency and skills necessary to maintain their certification, they continue to attend various training classes and also train together as a unit once a week. This prepares the canine officer and officer handler for the many situations in which the dogs' abilities and keen senses are needed to better serve their fellow officers and citizens in the community.
Changes to the K-9 Department
During 2013 the Charleston Police Department K-9 unit underwent a transition in which two police K-9s were retired and two new K-9s were brought on and in the fourth quarter of 2013 both dogs were certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association. The unit is planning to bring on two more police K-9s in 2014 to bring the unit up to five working dogs.