First and foremost, the duty of a Barnstable Police K-9 Unit patrol dog is to locate and apprehend criminals. Often, the mere presence of a K-9 will cause the subject to surrender himself to the K-9 handler peacefully which is of course the goal and the best result. K-9s have a tremendous psychological effect on criminals. They may argue with the officer but the dog isn’t interested in what he has to say.
But, not every suspect is ready to go peacefully. They may try to run away and refuse to stop on the order of the K-9 officer. In that case, the K-9 officer may instruct his K-9 partner to chase down and apprehend the suspect and hold them until the officer can place the suspect under arrest.
In other cases, the suspect may be hiding in a building or elsewhere where it would be dangerous for the officer to attempt the apprehension by himself. The K-9 can use his nose to locate the subject by detecting his scent in the air giving the officer the advantage. Where it goes from there is determined by the suspects actions.
The officer only orders his K-9 partner to bite and take down a subject only when necessary while following the law and police department policy. The decision to have his K-9 apprehend a criminal must usually be made within seconds and be the best option for the safety of the officer and others in the area.
Most K-9 Apprehensions do not involve a bite but that option is available and can be used when necessary.