K-9 Unit

Sgt Mike Wright
Main Phone: (775) 785-6200

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit has six canines; three teams assigned to the North Patrol District and three teams assigned to the South Patrol District.

The Canine Detail’s primary mission is to make the Patrol Officer’s job safer. The canine may be deployed when a suspect actively attempts to evade arrest by hiding or concealing him/herself, poses a threat to the public in general and/or has caused harm to someone. The canine can also be used as a tracking tool on narcotic searches or to apprehend the suspects.

Each canine is cross trained in Patrol and Narcotics. The patrol training focuses on training and certification of the canine to protect its handler, conduct building and outdoor area searches, and to be proficient in locating evidence and contraband such as firearms, blood stained clothing, and other objects. The narcotics training fosters the ability of the canine to detect the odors of drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

Canines are assigned to the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.). During a S.W.A.T. deployment, the canines can be used on point to search for human scent in open area searches, conduct building searches, clear attics and crawl spaces, search and clear areas filled with a large amount of debris and to maintain security perimeters. A S.W.A.T canine can also be utilized as a distraction when dealing with a suicidal subject.

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