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RICHMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT 




11-3 
CANINE UNIT 
OPERATING MANUAL 



3/18/2008 



Chief of Police or Designee 



Table of Contents 
OBJECTIVES 



PERSONNEL... .........................*..... »•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••»• 

Handler Selection 
Canine Trainers 

Qualifications & Requirements 

Qualifications & Requirements 
Canine Course Instructors 



CANINES 

Canine Selection 
Canine Disposal 
Canine Assignment 

GENERAL K-9 UNIT GUIDELINES 

K-9 Unit Assignments 
Canine Records Management 
Canine Training Management 
Care of Canines 

Canine Uniforms and Equipment 
Utility Canine Use Special Instructions 

UTILITY CANINES 

Levels of Training for Utility Canines 
Requirements for Active Utility Teams 
Certification Rules for Utility Canines 



NARCOTIC DETECTOR CANINES 

Narcotic Detector Canine Training Program 
Levels of training 

Narcotic Detector Performance Standards 
Narcotic Detector Canine Training Aids 
Pseudo Narcotics 



EXPLOSIVE/ WEAPONS DETECTOR CANINES 

Explosive Training Aids 

Explosive/ Weapon Detector Canine Performance Standards 
Levels of Certification 



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OBJECTIVES OF THE K-9 UNIT 



Members of the Richmond Police Department K-9 Unit will take a proactive approach in 
providing the citizens of Richmond, members of the Richmond Police Department and others 
with specialized police service canines. The K-9 Unit with certified Utility Canine Teams will 
reduce crime and make the neighborhoods of the City of Richmond a safer place to reside. They 
will conduct building searches and tracks to increase the apprehension rate of criminals and 
reduce the element of danger for other members of the Police Department. The K-9 Unit will 
increase the removal of weapons and narcotics from the City's neighborhoods through the use of 
Narcotic Detector and Explosive/ Weapons Detector Canine Teams. 

Goals of the K-9 Unit 

The Richmond Police K-9 Unit will be responsible to the needs of the citizens of Richmond, 
members of the Richmond Police Department and other federal, state and local law enforcement 
agencies. This will be obtained through an ever improving training program that will enhance the 
skills and knowledge of each K-9 Team. Canine Teams will meet with Community Leaders and 
Community Organizations to improve the K-9 Unit's effort in Community Policing. 

Purpose 

Canine handlers must deal with a wide range of problems that test their patience, ingenuity, 
character, and knowledge as a police officer and canine handler. Handlers are expected to use 
excellent judgment and common sense at all times when using their assigned canines. Every 
handler will receive all the guidance and assistance possible from the Department and the 
procedures contained herein that have been established for the unit. 

This manual provides a reference source for the canine handlers. It is intended to aid the 
coordination of interdepartmental activity and provides a basis for uniformity. 

This manual is designed to offer guidance from the Department, K-9 Unit and the procedures in 
the required operational functions. 



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CANINE UNIT PERSONNEL 



HANDLER SELECTION 

Canine handler candidates will be selected from sworn police personnel within the Richmond 
Police Department. Sworn Police personnel with a minimum of three years service with the 
Richmond Police Department and desiring to become a canine handler with the K-9 Unit must 
submit a request for transfer. Candidates should posses exceptionally good work habits, a 
marked degree of resourcefulness, dependability and patience. All past use of force reports on 
the candidates will be examined closely. Candidates must maintain a suitable residence to 
accommodate a canine and kennel. No member will be considered that cannot keep his/her 
canine at home. 

Candidates will be selected from sworn police personnel having a transfer request on file with 
Personnel and the Officer-in-Charge of Special Events Division. The Officer-in-Charge of 
Special Events Division will arrange for all prospective candidates to spend one full working day 
with the canine unit for evaluation of fitness as a handler. 

All candidates must pass the department physical fitness test (minimum 80%) to be considered 
for acceptance into the K-9 Unit. The Canine Training Coordinators, K-9 Sergeant and the 
Officer-In -Charge of the Special Events Division Tactical Units will interview prospective 
candidates and will make recommendations. The final recommendations will be sent through the 
proper channels. The interview will be for the purpose of explaining the canine program's 
requirements and determining the candidates' suitability. If married, the prospective candidate's 
family may be interviewed to explain the requirements of the program and to determine the 
family's full cooperation in the program. 

Once a candidate is selected for the position they will be placed on a one (1) year probation 
period beginning the date that they start the basic canine school. The purpose of this period is to 
evaluate the officer's abilities and handling skills required to handle the responsibilities of 
maintaining proper canine maintenance. Officers must display a proper positive attitude, show 
sound ability to work the canine, display their ability to apply what they have learned, 
demonstrate ability to work with others, show a desire to work and be on time. During this 
probationary period or at any future time any handler fails to meet the K-9 Unit requirements. 
The K-9 Unit Sergeant will recommend through channels in writing the officer for reassignment 
from the K-9 Unit. There will be no guarantees that an officer will be returned to their previous 
assignment. 

Once a handler has completed their probationary period, the same rules apply. The handler must 
maintain the same standards. Failure to meet the same standards may result in the officer's 
removal from the K-9 Unit. 



CANINE TRAINERS 
Qualifications 



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1 . Must have successfully completed a canine trainer's course. 

2. Must be accredited as a trainer by the Virginia Police Work Dog Association. 
Requirements to Attend Trainer's Course 

1. The handler applying for the trainer's course must have sufficient experience in handling 
and training of utility or detector canines. 

2. Students must accomplish the following to successfully complete this course 

• Pass two (2) written examinations with a grade level of at least 80 percent. 

• Successfully work with handlers and canines in a basic canine school and in 
monthly retraining sessions. 

• Exhibit a working knowledge and ability to instruct in all phases of training a 
canine team. 

THESE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE PERFORMED TO THE SATISFACTION OF A 
MASTER TRAINER. 



CANINE MASTER TRAINERS 
Qualifications and Requirements 

The following are the requirements for the position of Master Trainer with the Richmond Police 
Canine Unit 

1 . The applicant must have sufficient experience as a Canine Trainer and must have 
assisted a master trainer in at least two certifications. 

2. Have successfully completed a canine trainer's course. 

3. Be able to prepare all required paperwork as needed, for example; lesson plans, training 
schedules, curriculums, and evaluation sheets. 

4. Be proficient in the area of canine selection. 

5. Be able to handle problem solving techniques through-out training. 

6. Be able to properly evaluate a canine team. 

7. Must have conducted a canine basic school and trained at least three (3) canine teams to a 
level where they have been certified as canine teams, by a Virginia Police Work Dog 
Master Trainer. 

8. Be able to conduct canine re-training. 



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9. Be accredited as a Master Trainer by the Virginia Police Work Dog Association. 

Any Richmond Police Officer who meets the requirements listed above will be considered a 
Master Trainer in the Richmond Police Canine program. 



CANINE COURSE INSTRUCTORS 

Person(s) qualified to act as instructors in the Richmond Police Department Canine Program are 
as follows 

1. Richmond Police Canine Trainers (must be certified as a V.P.W.D.A. or State Police 
trainer). 

2. Richmond Police Canine Master Trainers (must be certified as a V.P.W.D.A. master 
trainer). 

3. Canine Trainers and Master Trainers from other Law Enforcement Agencies certified as a 
trainer or master trainer with V.P.W.D.A. or the State Police). 



CANINES 

CANINE SELECTION 

Canines are obtained for the K-9 Unit in the following manner 

1 . Canines are purchased from private vendors or breeders. 

2. Canines are obtained from or through donations from organizations or private citizens. 

Before acceptance into the canine program, each canine will be evaluated by the canine trainers 
and / or master trainers. Canine donation forms must be completed on each canine donated to the 
Richmond Police Department K-9 Unit. The donator must indicate what to do with the canine if 
it is dropped from the program. (Example: Return to the owner or dispose of at the discretion of 
the K-9 Unit.) Canines selected for the training program become the property of the City of 
Richmond, Police Department. They are not personal pets of the handlers. If a handler leaves 
the canine program for any reason, the canine remains the property of the City of Richmond 
Police Department. The canine will be evaluated by the canine trainers and/or master trainers. 
Upon completion of the evaluation the canine will be reassigned to another handler or retired. 

CANINE DISPOSAL 

Canines unfit for training will be offered, first to the person donating the animal if the proper 
notation was made on the donation form. If the donor does not want the canine, all efforts will 



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be made to find the canine a suitable home. Certified canines found no longer fit for service will 
first be offered to the handler that worked the canine. If the handler does not want the canine, 
the dog will be offered to other handlers in the unit. Lastly the canine will be offered to other 
police officers. (Utility canines will NOT be offered to the general public for adoption.) 

Detector canines found no longer fit for service will first be offered to the handler that worked 
the canine. If the handler does not want the canine, the dog will be offered to other handlers in 
the unit. If the canine is suitable for adoption it MAY be offered to the general public. 

Police service canines found no longer fit for service and are not suitable for the public to adopt, 
will be disposed of in accordance with Virginia State Law. 

CANINE ASSIGNMENT 

Canines will be assigned to the respective handler as approved by the K-9 Trainers and the K-9 
Sergeant. 

GENERAL K-9 UNIT GUIDELINES 

K-9 UNIT ASSIGNMENTS 

The police service canine teams will be assigned by the K-9 Sergeant, to specific areas within the 
four precincts, and will be responsible for patrolling that area. Under normal circumstances, all 
canine calls will receive priority over routine area assignments. A Detector K-9 will not be 
deployed in any drug area without appropriate back-up coverage. 

CANINE RECORDS MANAGEMENT 

Reports and Forms 

The following K-9 Unit reports and forms will be maintained at the K-9 Unit Office and utilized 
by assigned personnel as directed 

K9-1 Canine Donation Form 

The Canine donation form must be filled out when a citizen, officer or any other person or 
agency donates a canine for the purpose of police service with the Richmond Police Department. 
This form is to be filled out and signed by the K-9 trainer accepting the canine and signed by the 
donator. The information for disposition of the canine in the event the canine does not meet the 
needs of the department, must be filled in. 

K9-2 Canine Release Form 

The canine release form must be filled out when any canine is released from service with the 
Richmond Police Department. This form shall be completed by the K-9 trainer and approved by 
the K-9 Sergeant. 



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K9-4 Utility Canine Utilization Report 

K9-5 Explosive / Weapons Detector Canine Utilization Report 

K9-6 Narcotic Detector Canine Utilization Report 

A Utilization report will be completed by the canine handler each time the canine is utilized. 
The utilization report must be completed accurately and completely. The canine utilization 
report must be completed and turned in at the end of the tour with the team's daily activity sheet. 
This form is used to record the type of utilization or activity. The K-9 Sergeant will review each 
utilization report to determine if the canine was properly used and deployed. The K-9 Sergeant 
will then return the form to the respective training coordinator (Utility or Detector) to be 
reviewed and filed. The canine utilization report will be used to compile monthly and annual K- 
9 activity reports. In the event a Utility Canine makes an apprehension, in addition to the 
utilization report an apprehension report must be completed. In the event a Narcotic Detector 
Canine or Explosive/Weapons Canine should make a seizure or a fine, the handler must 
complete a seizure report in addition to the utilization report. 

K9-7 Weekly Utility Canine Re-Training Report 

A weekly training report will be prepared by the Utility Canine handler. The canine trainers will 
review these reports. These reports will reflect any deficiencies observed during training or re- 
training and will be used to correct any problems that may arise. They will also be used for 
rating the canine team's progress during training and to keep the K-9 Sergeant informed. The 
canine trainer being aware of the problems that exist will inform the handler and remedial 
training may be considered. These records may also be used in a court of law if the occasion 
arises. 

K9-8 Monthly Narcotic Canine Re-Training Report 

The Narcotic Detector Canine will receive a minimum of four (4) hours of re-training each week. 
Each re-training exercise will be recorded on the re-training report and submitted to the trainer 
monthly. The canine trainers will review these reports. These reports will reflect any 
deficiencies observed during training or re-training and will be used to correct any problems that 
may arise. They will also be used for rating the canine team's progress during training and to 
keep the K-9 Sergeant informed. The canine trainer being aware of the problems that exist will 
inform the handler and remedial training may be considered. These records may also be used in 
a court of law if the occasion arises. 

K9-12 Canine Apprehension Report 

This report will be completed by each handler who makes an apprehension with their canine. 
Reports must be turned into the K-9 Sergeant by the end of each tour of duty. The handler will 
make four (4) copies. The original will be maintained by the K-9 Sergeant. The trainer will 
receive three (3) copies to be filed in the handler's file, canine's file and the apprehension file. 

K9-14 Narcotic Seizure Letter 



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Each time a Narcotic K-9 is utilized and as a result of the search a find is made, the handler will 
complete the Narcotic Seizure letter. This form is to be completed, signed and turned into the K- 
9 Sergeant by the end of duty tour. The handler will make two (2) copies and forward the 
original and copy to the K-9 Sergeant. The K-9 Sergeant will retain one copy for the Seizure 
File and the copy will be forwarded to the detector trainer for filing in the handlers file. 

K9- 1 5 Explosive / Weapons Detector Seizure Letter 

Each time an Explosive / Weapons K-9 is utilized and as a result of the search a find is made the 
handler will complete the Explosive /Weapons Seizure letter. This form is to be completed, 
copied and turned into the K-9 Sergeant by the end of the tour of duty. The K-9 Sergeant will 
forward the copy to the detector trainer for filing in the handlers' file. 

K9-I6 Basic Utility Canine School - 4 ,h Week Evaluation 

This report will be completed by the trainer conducting the basic utility K-9 school at the end of 
the forth week of training. This report evaluates the canine and the handler. 

K9-17 Basic Utility Canine School - 8 Ih Week Evaluation 

This report will be completed by the trainer conducting the basic utility K-9 school at the end of 
the eighth week of training. This report evaluates the canine and the handler. 

K9-18 Basic Utility Canine School - Final Evaluation 

This report will be completed by the trainer conducting the basic utility K-9 school during the 
last week of training. This is the final evaluation and determines the eligibility of the canine 
team to receive certification. This report evaluates the canine and the handler. 

K9-19 Basic Narcotic Detector School - 3 ,d Week Evaluation 

This evaluation will be completed by a certified master trainer with the Virginia Police Work 
Dog Association or certified trainer under the Virginia State Police. This evaluation will judge 
the capabilities of the handler and canine to the basic exercises taught during the preliminary 
phases of scent association and exposure to elementary search sequence. 

K9-20 Basic Narcotic Detector School - 8 ,h Week Evaluation 

This evaluation will be conducted by a certified Master Trainer with the Virginia Police Work 
Dog Association or a certified trainer under the Virginia State Police. This evaluation will test 
the handler and the canine's capabilities taught from the third week to the eighth week. The 
handler and the canine will be evaluated individually and as a team. 

K9-21 Basic Narcotic Detector School - 12th Week Evaluation 



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This evaluation will be conducted by a certified Master Trainer with the Virginia Police Work 
Dog Association or a certified trainer with the Virginia State Police. This will be the final 
certification to show that the handler and the canine perform as a team and are capable of 



PD-3 Crime Scene Contamination Report 

This report will be completed by the handler when an area search, building search, or track has 
been contaminated by other police officers. Handlers shall forward this report to the K-9 
Sergeant. 

PD-4 Police K-9 Bite Report 
In accordance with General Order 6-23 
Animal Bite Report (Health Department) 
In accordance with General Order 6-23 

CANINE TRAINING MANAGEMENT 

The responsibility of training canines and handler's, is that of the canine trainers, accomplished 
through the K-9 Sergeant. 

Upon completion of basic training, all K-9 teams will be required to attend the mandatory 
weekly re-training. If at all possible, every effort should be made to eliminate any conflicts that 
may keep the team from attending re-training. Exceptions will be granted by the K-9 Sergeant 
and trainers of the K-9 Unit, with prior approval. Court will not be scheduled on these dates. 
Departmental business other than K-9 training should be avoided during the re-training hours, as 
well as any personal business. 

Weekly in-service re-training is very important and must be maintained in order to keep the 
canines at maximum proficiency. If the handler is unable to attend his/her assigned re-training 
day's they will be re-scheduled as soon as possible. If four (4) or more consecutive re-training 
sessions are missed, the canine team shall make up all training hours missed and the trainers will 
evaluate the canine team prior to returning to full duty. During the weekly in-service training, 
each canine team is objectively evaluated to determine proficiency by the canine trainers. If a 
canine team receives a rating less than satisfactory the K-9 Sergeant will be notified. The K-9 
Sergeant will then arrange for the canine team to receive remedial training. 

No canine handler will participate in any utilization's or tactical operations until successfully 
completing basic canine training. Detector canines will adhere to the above requirements on a 
monthly re-training schedule verses a weekly re-training schedule. They will also adhere to an 




weeks. 




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•"5 ■» j» 



CARE OF CANINES 

1 . The canine will be housed in a clean environment. The kennel (sides, roof and door), dog 
house, bedding, pans, food storage space, and the surrounding areas will be inspected and 
cleaned daily by the handler. 

2. The feeding of the canine will be the immediate responsibility of the handler. Care must 
be taken that the canine is not over fed. 

3. When kenneled, the canine will have fresh water available to him/her at ALL times. 

4. The canine will be kept clean and well groomed at all times. No canine will be bathed 
when the outside temperature is below 65 degrees. An exception to this will be that the 
handler will utilize the inside bath facilities. The handler will be sure to note that the 
canine is dry before being subjected to outside cold temperatures. 

5. At no time will the canine be permitted to run loose without direct supervision by the 
handler. When allowing the canine to exercise or relieve him/her self, the handler will 
never allow the canine to be out of his/her sight. During this type of activity, if members 
of the public enter the area, the handler will immediately secure the canine. 

6. No one, other than department personnel shall be allowed to tease or agitate a department 
canine. No other handler will attempt to touch or use another handler's canine except in 
an emergency situation. 

7. In the event a canine is lost, the handler will notify the K-9 Sergeant immediately. 

8. In the event a canine is injured or killed, the handler will notify the K-9 Sergeant and the 
trainers immediately. 

9. If a handler is injured and cannot take control of the canine, the nearest handler shall 
respond and assume responsibility of the canine. In the event this should occur the 
Officer-In-Charge Special Events Division Tactical Units, K-9 Sergeant and trainers will 
also be notified immediately. 

10. At no time will a canine be destroyed without the express approval of the K-9 Sergeant or 
the watch commander on duty at the time of the incident. If the canine dies 
unexpectedly or as the result of injuries, an autopsy will be performed if it is deemed 
appropriate by the K-9 Sergeant. 

1 1 . Each handler will be issued Heart Worm Preventative for their canine. It is the 
responsibility of each handler and imperative that all canines receive their monthly 
medication around the same date. 

12. Each canine will receive a yearly check up from the contracted veterinarian. 



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13. Canines will not be removed from their kennels for any other reason than work, training, 
demonstrations, or exercise. No one but the handler should remove their respective 
canines unless other wise directed by the K-9 Sergeant or the trainer's. 

14. All handlers are assigned to an eight (8) or ten (10) hour work day, and are compensated 
according to those hours. Work time is Vi hour less due to a thirty (30) minute allocation 
which is for home canine care. Even during the handler's day off, thirty (30) minutes a 
day will be compensated to them. 

15. Whenever the handler leaves the Police vehicle and the canine is unattended, the handler 
will lock all the doors to the vehicle and ensure proper ventilation for the canine 
(windows rolled down, air conditioning operating, etc.) The handler will check the 
vehicle every 10 to 20 minutes to ensure the air conditioning is functioning properly and 
efficiently. The canine must be properly secured in the cage or box. 

CANINE UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT 

While a handler is working his/her respective tour of duty, he/she will wear the K-9 BDU's with 
the Web duty belt. 

While on special assignments, the uniform of the day will be determined by orders for the 
specific assignment or by the K-9 Sergeant. 

In the event a canine handler is summonsed to circuit court, the uniform will consist of the class 
A. 

CANINE EQUIPMENT 

Each handler will be issued the following canine equipment depending on canine's discipline 
(utility or detector). 

1 . 1 - Leather or nylon 6 foot leash 

2. 1 - Leather collar 

3. 1 - Muzzle 

4. 1-15 foot and / or 25 foot leash 

5. 1 - Tracking harness 

6. 1 - Feed pan 

7. I - 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 kennel with roof 

8. 1 - Ballistic vest 

9. 1 - Dog brush and comb (rake) 

10. 1 - Choke Chain collar 

12. 1 - Leather K-9 jacket 
CARE OF CANINE ISSUED EQUIPMENT 

1 . All leather equipment will be kept cleaned and in good usable condition. 



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2. All nylon equipment will be checked for rips and holes. 

3. All metal equipment will be kept free from rust and in good condition. 

4. If any equipment becomes unserviceable, it will be inspected by the K-9 Sergeant and / or 
trainers, and replaced accordingly. 

5. All handlers must sign for their respective equipment and will return such equipment 
upon leaving the canine unit. 

6. Any equipment lost or damaged by the negligence of the handler will be replaced at the 
handler's personal expense. 

7. Handlers are reminded not to leave training equipment in an area close enough for the 
canine to destroy. Handlers will be responsible for replacing that equipment at their 
personal expense. 

8. K-9 Kennels maintained at the Officer's residence will be inspected by the K-9 Sergeant 
and / or the trainers. A photograph shall be taken and maintained by the K-9 Sergeant. It 
is the responsibility of the handler to ensure that the kennels are kept clean and in good 
working order. 

9. All issued equipment will be inspected quarterly by the K-9 Sergeant and / or respective 
trainers. 

CANINE VEHICLES 

All canine vehicles will be kept in good clean condition. While on patrol, the sliding gate behind 
the handler must be closed to restrict the K-9 to the rear area. 

AT NO TIME IS THE CANINE ALLOWED TO RIDE IN THE FRONT SEAT OF THE 
VEHICLE. CANINES MUST BE CONFINED TO THE SAFETY OF THE CAGE OR BOX. 
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IN THE EVENT OF AN UNLIKELY OCCURRENCE SUCH 
AS AN ACCIDENT OR SUDDEN STOP, THE CANINE COULD BE SERIOUSLY 
INJURED. 

All canine vehicles will be gassed up by the handler at the end of the tour of duty. 
UTILITY CANINE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS 
Building Searches 

Before releasing the canine to search building, oral warnings will be given. The oral warnings 
will include, there is a police canine on the scene, and that the canine will be released in the 
building. The handler should call out in a loud and clear voice; "Richmond Police, Sound Off Or 
I'll Release the Dog". This command will be given three (3) times. Only in extreme or 



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dangerous situations will the warning not be given. Handlers will comply with General Order 7- 
10. 



Area Search/Article Search 

Utility canines will be utilized to search areas for suspects or articles and evidence. This search 
should normally be conducted on leash but may be conducted off leash if the area is secure and 
free of citizens. All handlers will comply with General Order 7-10. 



UTILITY CANINES 

LEVELS OF TRAINING FOR UTILITY CANINE TEAMS 

There are four (4) certifications 

Level One New Handler and new canine 

Level Two New handler and certified canine 

Level Three Experienced handler with new canine 

Level Four Experienced handler with already trained canine (both handler and canine 

were not certified together) 

The following are the requirements for each level of certification. The utility canine student and 
canine must complete the requirements and be certified before being deployed for service in the 
field. 

LEVELS ONE. TWO, AND THREE 

1. Must successfully complete a minimum of a fourteen (14) week basic utility canine 
training school. 

2. Must pass two (2) written examinations. 

3. Must be able to perform all tasks covered in the basic school. 

4. Must pass the certification as covered in the rules and regulations for The Virginia Police 
Work Dog Association 

5. Handler and canine must function as a team. 
LEVEL FOUR 

1 . The handler must successfully complete a minimum of a six week basic school. 

2. Must pass two (2) written examinations. 



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3. Must be able to perform all tasks covered in the basic utility school. 

4. Must pass the certification as covered in the rules and regulations for The Virginia Police 
Work Dog Association 

5. Handler and canine must function as a team. 
REQUIREMENTS FOR ACTIVE UTILITY CANINE TEAMS 

Requirements that are mandatory for a utility canine team to remain in service in the field 

1 . Canine team shows proper handling of field assignments. 

2. Canine team attends the sufficient re-training to maintain efficiency. 

3. Canine team maintains a current certification under the Virginia Police Work dog 
Association standards. 

CERTIFICATION RULES FOR UTILITY CANINES 

Certifications will be conducted by the Virginia Police Work Dog Association (V.P.W.D.A.).The 
certification will be conducted by a master trainer in the area of Utility Canines. Certifications 
are valid for a one (1) year period under the certification standards of the Virginia Police Work 
Dog Association. 

NARCOTIC DETECTOR CANINES 

NARCOTIC DETECTOR CANINE TRAINING PROGRAM 

The Richmond Police Department's Narcotic Detector Canine Training program is designed to; 
provide complete quality training for the handler and canine, develop the handler's knowledge of 
narcotics, develop the handler's knowledge of proper and legal search procedures, develop a 
narcotic detector team that under any circumstance will be able to perform their duties in a 
professional manner. 

The physical demands of the training include a great deal of running over rough or uneven 
terrain, rocky surfaces, climbing heights, heavy lifting, extensive stooping, kneeling crouching 
and crawling. Each student must be physically able to work out-of-doors, often under the 
adverse of conditions. The student must exercise a high degree of mental and physical 
coordination in effectively training and employing his/her narcotic detector canine. Students 
failing to meet these requirements can and will be eliminated form the training program. 

The length of the training program will be determined by the level of training for the specific 
canine team, [see Sub-Section I - Level of Training] The Basic Narcotic Detector Dog Training 
Program is Twelve (12) weeks in length. Daily training consists of eight (8) hours, five (5) days 
per week. Training hours are established in accordance with climate conditions. 



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To receive a certificate of graduation, the student must successfully train a narcotic detector dog 
and successful complete each graded segment of the course, which includes written examinations 
and graded practical exercises. There are three (3) scheduled examinations in the twelve (12) 
week course. The student must achieve a minimum score of 70 percent on each examination. 
Any student who does not achieve a 70 percent score will be counseled and required to take and 
pass a remedial examination. The student will be allowed to take one remedial examination. If 
the student fails the second examination, he/she will be eliminated from the training program. 

The student must attain a mark of satisfactory on each graded practical exercise. Any student 
who does not receive a satisfactory on each practical exercise will be counseled and required to 
pass a remedial practical exercise. If the student fails the second practical exercise, he/she will 
be eliminated from the training program. The following is a list of the graded practical exercises 
and the areas covered in the Narcotics Detector Dog Training program. 

a. Open Area Searches 

b. Buried Narcotics 

c. Building Exterior 

d. Building Interior 

e. Vehicles 

f. Mail Examination 

h. Luggage Examination 

The following is a breakdown of the minimum number of practical performance exercises that 
will be conducted during the each evaluation phase with the narcotic detector dog; 

A. Third (3) Week Evaluation 

(1) One (1) off-lead quartering exercise 

(2) One ( 1 ) buried narcotic exercise 

(3) One ( 1 ) building exterior exercise 

(4) One ( 1 ) building interior exercise 

B. Eighth (8) Week Evaluation 

(2) Three (3) mail examinations (boxes, letters, rolled-up newspaper) 

(3) Two (2) freight 

(4) Two (2) luggage 

C. Twelfth Week Certification 

( 1 ) Four (4) vehicles (exterior and interior) 

(2) Three mail exercises (boxes, letters, rolled newspaper) 

(3) Three (3) freight exercises 



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(4) Three (3) luggage exercises 



All evaluations will be conducted as realistically as possible, and the students will not be 
informed where the narcotics are concealed prior to performing the exercises. The established 
performance evaluation forms will be used, and the following evaluation rating scale will be 
used to evaluate the narcotic detector dog's performance in each area. 



Rating 


Intent 


Alert 


Interest 


Aggression 


Excellent 


3.5 


2.0 


2.0 


2.5 


Good 


3.0 


1.5 


1.5 


2.0 


Fair 


1.5 


1.0 


1.0 


1.5 


Poor 


0.5 


0.5 


0.5 


0.5 


None 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 



The dog must attain a minimum of 6.5 points in each exercise to be considered satisfactory. 

The officer / handler will be evaluated on his/her performance during each exercise at the same 
time the dog is being evaluated. The handler's performance rating will be recorded on the 
evaluation form. The following rating scale will apply to the officer's performance. 

Satisfactory - no more than two (2) discrepancies 
Unsatisfactory - three or more discrepancies 

If the student has no discrepancies in his/her performance, then he/she will receive three (3) 
points; One discrepancies and he/she will receive two points; Two (2) discrepancies and he/she 
will receive one point; Three (3) discrepancies or more and he/she will receive no points. If the 
student fails to use proper search sequences or does not interpret the dog's alert, then he/she will 
automatically be documented unsatisfactory. 

General rides while training at the Richmond Police K-9 facility. 

1 . The student will report promptly to all classes and activities. 

2. No student will be absent from any class except with proper or prior notification to the 
trainer or K-9 Sergeant. It will be the responsibility of the student to notify the Trainer or 
K-9 Sergeant when he/she will not be able to attend the next scheduled training day. You 
must call (804)-646-6713. 

3. Students will display proper respect to all instructors. 

4. Students will not enter the trainers or instructors office except when requested or directed 
by the instructors or trainers. 

5. The student will at all times be neat in appearance. 



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LEVELS OF TRAINING 

There are four (4) levels of training courses. 

Level One - New Handler with New Canine 

a. Must successfully complete a minimum of a twelve ( 1 2) week basic school. 

b. Must pass three (3) written examinations. 

c. Must be able to perform all tasks covered in the basic school. 

d. The handler and canine must function properly as a team. 

e. The handler and canine must pass a certification evaluation. 

Level Two - New handler with already trained canine. 

a. Must successfully complete a minimum of a six (6) week basic school. 

b. Must pass three (3) written examinations. 

c. Must be able to perform all tasks covered in the basic school. 

d. The handler and canine must function properly as a team. 

e. The handler and canine must pass a certification evaluation. 

Level Three - Experienced handler with new canine 
a. Same as level one (1) 

Level Four - Experienced trained handler and trained canine not trained together as team. 

a. Must be able to perform all tasks that are covered in the basic school. 

b. Handler and canine must function properly as a team. 

c. Handler and canine must pass a certification evaluation. 

ONE OF THE ABOVE LEVELS MUST BE OBTAINED BEFORE THE CANINE IS PLACED 
IN THE FIELD. 

NARCOTIC DETECTOR PERFORMANCE STANDARDS 

The rating given in each area or performance will be in accordance with the following standards. 
SEARCH INTENT 

Intent is demonstrated by the dog through the interest, attitude and enthusiasm displayed while 
searching. Since intent is the result of certain motivational factors instilled through training and 
directly affects the thoroughness of the examination, it becomes a critical factor. All other 
aspects of performance are dependent on this trait. 

RATINGS 



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(A) EXCELLENT 



The dog has demonstrated an exceptionally eager desire to search. The dog's attention should not 
be diverted because of distractions, such as vehicles, traffic, people, other animals, noises or 
other environmental influences. The dog's only desire should be to search extremely closely, 
quickly and without any encouragement. It must be noted that the dog MUST be examining the 
area closely and not just moving fast. Basically an excellent rating means the dog's performance 
is perfect, leaving nothing to be desired. 

(B) GOOD 

The dog has demonstrated a good positive desire to search, but is less than 100 percent in his/her 
examination. The dog may become momentarily distracted by influences that may be present. 
Only minimal encouragement is required to regain interest and induce the dog to search closer 
with increased speed. 

(C) FAIR 

The dog lacks enthusiasm and interest toward searching. He/she requires considerable 
encouragement to search and does not satisfactorily examine all area unless specifically directed 
to do so. The dog demonstrating FAIR performance is very easily distracted by any number of 
influencing factors. 

(D) POOR 

The dog has no enthusiasm or interest in searching unless strongly and constantly encouraged to 
do so. The dog does not search continuously and fails to examine areas even though specifically 
directed. The dog is constantly influenced by distracting factors and displays equal interest in 
these distractions. 



RESPONSE (Alert) 

During the initial training process, the dog's instinctive reactions were channeled to achieve a 
positive response when the dog was exposed to a narcotic odor. This response is of primary 
importance in daily employment and is evaluated during training under the heading of 
"RESPONSE." RESPONSE is divided into three parts; ALERT, INTEREST and 
AGGRESSION. 

ALERT 

Alert is an emotional reaction that results in a physical response from the dog when the narcotic 
substance is detected. 

RATINGS 



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(A) EXCELLENT 



The dog detected the narcotic at a significant distance and the response was immediate. He/she 
displayed an almost frantic desire to trace the odor to its source. No hesitation was witnessed and 
there is no question of scent discrimination ability. No verbal encouragement is needed. 

(B) GOOD 

The dog detected the narcotic at a reasonable distance and was enthusiastic in pursing the odor to 
it's source. Only moderate encouragement is necessary and no identification problem is evident. 

(C) FAIR 

The dog is allowed to respond and requires considerable encouragement to trace the narcotic 
odor to it's origin. He/she may examine areas around the specific location before indicating a 
positive response toward the narcotic odor. 

(D) POOR 

Dog lacks enthusiasm is an extremely slow to the odor. The evaluator may not be able to 
distinguish the difference between general interest and response. No significant change in 
attitude is displayed by the dog. 

Interest 

Interest, in this portion of the evaluation, pertains to that period of time after detection, and is 
reflected by the enthusiasm and desire the dog displays to pinpoint and not leave the place of the 
narcotic concealment. 

RATINGS 

(A) EXCELLENT 

The dog is very enthusiastic and is near frantic in his/her pursuit of the odor to its origin. The 
dog displays no indication of leaving the place of concealment, shows no signs of distraction and 
requires no prompting from the handler. 

(B) GOOD 

The dog displays a good positive interest and attitude toward the Place of concealment. The dog 
may require moderate encouragement while pursuing the odor to its origin, but will not leave the 
narcotic odor once it is located. 

(C) FAIR 



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The dog shows a lack of enthusiasm, requires considerable encouragement to trace the odor to its 
source, and is easily distracted by other influencing factors. 

(D) POOR 

Little enthusiasm is evident after initial detection, and verbal encouragement has little or no 
effect in regenerating interest. The dog displaying poor interest may examine and leave the place 
of the hidden narcotic without responding further. 

AGGRESSION 

The aggression a dog displays toward the narcotic container is of paramount importance. The 
majority of motivational factors, influencing both training and performance, are related to this 
aspect of response. 

(An aggressive response is defined as biting or scratching at the container in an attempt to 
penetrate or destroy it.) 

RATINGS 

(A) EXCELLENT 

The dog with enthusiasm and without hesitation both scratches and bites at the container. 
His/her reaction after finding the container with the hidden narcotic is swift and positive. He/she 
displays a near frantic determination to destroy the container and requires physical removal of 
the container, to prevent eventual access to the narcotic. No signs of distraction or diverted 
attention may be witnessed. 

(B) GOOD 

The dog displays a positive aggression response. He/she may require moderate encouragement 
to bite and/or scratch at the container. Shows no indication or hesitancy of leaving the container. 

(C) FAIR 

The dog may paw or bite at the container but requires considerable encouragement and is 
somewhat lacking in enthusiasm. He/she distracted frequently and may occasionally leave the 
place of concealment. 

(D) POOR 

The dog will no longer bite or scratch at the place of concealment. He/she distracts easily and 
cannot be coaxed into showing any signs of aggression. A dog in this category will examine the 
narcotic container and leave it without any visible signs of an aggressive response. 



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NARCOTIC DETECTOR CANINE TRAINING AIDS 
POLICY 

It is the policy of the Richmond Police Department to utilize trained and certified Narcotic 
Detector Canines and sworn Police Officers as Narcotic Detector Handlers for the prevention 
and detection of illegal narcotics. In training, re-training and certification's, it is necessary to 
utilize real narcotics to maintain the canines overall peak performance. 

This establishes specific guidelines for the control procedures for the procurement, storage, use, 
disposal and accountability of all real narcotic substances issued to the Richmond Police 
Department K-9 Unit for the purpose of training and re-training of the narcotic detector K-9's. 

RESPONSIBILITY 

The K-9 Sergeant is responsible for the implementation of the operating procedure. The K-9 
Sergeant and the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer shall comply and are responsible for abiding 
by the provisions set forth in this policy. 

PROCUREMENT OF NARCOTICS FOR THE PURPOSES OF TRAINING AND OR RE- 
TRAINING 

All narcotics will be obtained from the Drug Enforcement Administration Laboratory, located in 
Washington D.C. For security and to minimize the chain of custody, the Narcotic Detector 
Trainer shall have sole responsibility for procuring and receiving all narcotics for the purpose of 
training and or re-training of the Narcotic Detector Canines. The narcotics will be delivered by a 
reputable carrier that D.E.A. utilizes. When the narcotics are received from the carrier and 
signed for, the receipt of said narcotics will be copied and forwarded to the Officer- In-Charge of 
Special Operations Division by the K-9 Sergeant. 

ACCOUNTABILITY 

The following procedures will be complied with in maintaining the accountability of the 
narcotics, in both training and re-training aid form and in bulk quantities. To maintain the level 
of proficiency of the Certified Narcotic Detector Canines, it is necessary to conduct weekly re- 
training using varied amounts of real narcotics and pseudo substances. This procedure is 
mandatory to maintain the high level of performance and reliability. Strictest compliance within 
this policy is the responsibility of all personnel involved and shall be held highly accountable. 

STORAGE 

All narcotics in the form of training aids and any bulk weight, when not being used for training 
or re-training purposes, will be secured in there respective locked safes. Only the K-9 Sergeant 
and the Narcotic Detector Trainer shall have the combinations to the respective safes. The two 



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safes will be placed in two separate rooms which will be alarmed at the doors. The K-9 Sergeant 
and the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer will have the access keys to these rooms. It is 
necessary to store the narcotics in separate safes to avoid any contamination. This contamination 
would have a direct effect on the proficiency of the narcotic detector canine. The narcotics that 
must be separated are the Marijuana, Hashish, (referred to as soft), and the Heroin and Cocaine 
(referred to as Hard). In addition to the narcotics being placed in there respective safes the Hard 
substances (Heroin and Cocaine) shall be kept in separate containers in the same safe. Neither 
the hard narcotics nor the soft narcotics shall at any time be placed in the same safe therefore 
avoiding contamination. 

The Drug Enforcement Agency must also approve of the storage facility and must be notified if 
any changes are made in respect to a new location. 

REMOVING AND RETURNING TRAINING AIDS 

Only the K-9 Sergeant and the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer will have access to the safes 
containing the narcotics used in training. It shall be the responsibility of the officer removing 
and returning the training aids to log the date, time and amount of the narcotics used in the 
training exercise. This log book shall be kept in its respective safe to maintain safe keeping and 
avoid and other unauthorized person having access to the log book. The narcotics will only be 
removed for the purpose of training the Narcotic Detector Canines. In addition to logging out or 
in the narcotics for training it will be the responsibility of the K-9 Sergeant and the Narcotic 
Detector Trainer to make an accurate inventory of all the training aids before they are removed 
from the storage area. This will also apply upon returning the training aids back to there 
respective safe's. It will also be the responsibility of the Narcotic Detector Trainer to make sure 
that all the narcotics used for training are accounted for after each and every exercise, thus 
removing any possibility of any loss of narcotics. 

CONSTRUCTION OF TRAINING AIDS 

Each training aid will be constructed in such a manner that the contents will be sealed into the 
training aid package. Special emphasis will be placed on the accountability of the amount of the 
narcotics placed in the training aids. The amount of the narcotic placed in each training aid will 
be measured and weighed. In addition, each training aid constructed will be issued an 
identifiable number which will be written on the outside of the training aid package. This 
number will also be placed into a ledger to correspond to the date the aid was constructed, the 
weighed amount placed into the sealed training aid package. 

The ledger containing the construction of the training aid will be kept in the possession of the K- 
9 Sergeant. 

It shall be the responsibility of the K-9 Sergeant and the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer to 
maintain the strict accountability and security of each training aid during training exercises. The 
accountability shall be done when each exercise is concluded or each time the training exercise is 
moved from one area to another. 



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LOSS OF NARCOTICS AND/OR TRAINING AIDS 



When the loss of any narcotic, Marijuana, Hashish, Cocaine or Heroin, is witnessed through the 
accidental puncturing of a training aid by a narcotic detector canine or any other cause, the K-9 
Sergeant and or the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer, shall attempt to recover as much of the 
spillage as possible. Any narcotic that cannot be recovered must be destroyed or otherwise 
rendered useless for any illegal use. The K-9 Sergeant must be notified immediately of any loss 
and shall be responsible for notifying the Officer-In-Charge of Special Operations Division 
within 24 hours. The K-9 Sergeant the K-9 Unit and the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer shall 
be responsible for submitting a letter to the Deputy Chief of Field Services Division through 
channels within 24 hours. The contents of the letter shall reflect how the damage or loss 
occurred. It will be the responsibility of the Narcotic Detector Trainer to submit a letter and the 
damaged aid to the K-9 Sergeant. The K-9 Sergeant will weigh the damaged aid in the presence 
of the Trainer. The K-9 Sergeant will then place the contents of the damaged aid into a plastic 
bag and seal same. The K-9 Sergeant will then notify the Officer-in Charge Special Events 
Division Tactical Units' and/or the Watch Commander on duty of the loss. 

The K-9 Sergeant will enter into the ledger the date and time of the incident and the amount 
recovered and weighed. 

In the Event of any loss of any training aid (Marijuana, Hashish, Cocaine or Heroin), or that 
which cannot be accounted for, the K-9 Sergeant will be notified by the Narcotic Detector 
Trainer. The K-9 Sergeant will then notify the Officer- In-Charge of the Special Operations 
Division, immediately, who will then notify the Deputy Chief. 

If any theft occurs of the Training aids or any unexplained loss of the narcotics, the K-9 Sergeant 
will be notified immediately. Through the chain of command the K-9 Sergeant will notify the 
Officer-in Charge Special Events Division Tactical Units' who will make the appropriate 
departmental notifications to Special Events Division Commander and Internal Affairs Division. 
In addition the K-9 Sergeant will notify the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

NARCOTICS INVENTORY 

An accounting of all narcotics used for training or re-training purposes (Marijuana, Hashish, 
Cocaine and Heroin) or in bulk form will be conducted on a monthly basis by the K-9 Sergeant. 

A quarterly inspection of all training aids and their records will be inventoried by the Officer- 
In-Charge of Special Operation's Division. An inventory record will be maintained on all 
marijuana, hashish, cocaine and heroin. This inventory record will reflect the individual training 
aids by the number assigned to it, gross weight in grams and the date the training aid was made. 

During the course of a year, the Deputy Chief of Field Services Division or their designee of 
Special Operations Division will conduct a bi-annual (twice yearly) inspection and inventory of 
all records or ledgers pertaining to the use of the training aid narcotics. The time of the 
inspection shall be at random and unannounced. 



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All documents relating to each training aid will be kept on file with the K-9 Sergeant to support 
the assurance of the inventory balance. Records on destroyed training aids will be maintained 
for two (2) years from the date the narcotics were destroyed. 

NARCOTIC TRAINING AIDS IN TRANSIT 

When the narcotic training aids are transported to and from the training areas, special handling 
procedures are to be adhered to at all times. These handling procedures will entail accountability 
of the narcotics after each and every exercise. They will be accounted for when placed back into 
their respective container and a visual inspection of any damaged aids. When the narcotic 
training aids are not being used during any training exercise, they must be secured as to prevent 
any loss. It will be the responsibility of the Narcotic Detector Canine Trainer to account for all 
narcotic training aids when the exercises are finished and before leaving the training exercise 
area. 

DISPOSING OF NARCOTICS 

When it has been determined that the narcotic training aids are no longer useful due to loss of its 
potency, they will be destroyed. The narcotic substance will be submitted to the property section 
for disposal. The property section shall be responsible for the disposal or incineration of the used 
training aids. This procedure will be in accordance with the Richmond Police General Orders. 



PSEUDO NARCOTICS 

1 . These materials will be kept in the refrigerator to preserve and retard decomposition. 

2. The handler will take the necessary precautions to prevent contamination while handling 
the pseudo. 

3. The pseudo narcotics are non-narcotic and are not controlled substances and therefore, do 
not require any special security. 

4. To ensure that contamination of the pseudo narcotic training aids is prevented, they 
must be stored in separate containers at a location removed from marijuana or hashish. 



EXPLOSIVE / WEAPONS DETECTOR CANINES 

EXPLOSIVE/ WEAPONS DETECTOR CANINE TRAINING AIDS 

1. Explosive training aids will be stored in a secured safe at the K-9 Unit's Training 
Facility, when not being used in training. 



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2. Only the canine trainer, K-9 Sergeant and the explosive/weapons canine handler will be 
allowed to remove the training aids for training purpose. 

3. An inventory of the explosive material will be maintained by the trainer and K-9 
Sergeant. 

4. All the explosive material will be issued by the Richmond Police Explosive Technician. 
A log will be maintained as to the date, amount, and type of material being issued to the 
trainer of the explosive/weapons canine. This ledger will be maintained by the trainer 
and the K-9 Sergeant. 

EXPLOSIVE / WEAPONS DETECTOR CANINE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS 

The explosive/weapons canine's training and certification standards parallel the training, 
certifications standards and guidelines of the narcotic detector canine training program. 

LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION 

The explosive / weapons canine's training and levels of certification parallel the training levels 
of the narcotic detector canine training program. 



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