The Evanston Police Department has had a K-9 program since 1987. The dog and the handlers go through many hours of training to become certified. One course is to certify the dog and handler in patrol service, tracking, and apprehension. Another certifies both the dog and handler in drug detection. In all, the combined training for these 2 courses exceeds 600 hours. The dogs make a wonderful addition to the department by providing these services:
Safety for the officers
They are able to track people and can be used to track suspects that have fled a scene
Used to search buildings that may have a suspect inside thus making it safer for the officers to enter
The dogs can be used to apprehend fleeing suspects
They can detect drugs and build probable cause for search warrants
The dogs are also used to build understanding and relationships between community members, students, and civic groups by doing K-9 demonstrations for school groups, scout groups, and many others.