There is a saying that when an officer needs help he calls SWAT. When SWAT needs help they call in the K-9s. There is a lot of truth to that statement. Any way you look at it, K-9s are a valuable asset for crime fighting and saving lives. The Barnstable Police K-9 Unit regularly trains with the SWAT Team so they can work together as an effective unit immediately anytime a K-9 is needed.
The Barnstable Police Department is a member of Cape Cod Regional Law Enforcement Council, Inc. The Council’s Special Weapons and Tactics Unit or SWAT is utilized in particularly dangerous and threatening situations. These might include raids on dangerous criminal’s hideouts, hostage situations, and other high risk operations. The first goal of SWAT is always to try to diffuse every situation peacefully and safely.
Sometimes SWAT may need to try to locate a hidden subject. Such a search is performed slowly, methodically, and with extreme caution. Officers are on high alert for anything they might see or hear. While officers are searching with their eyes and hears, a highly trained K-9 is searching with his nose which is far more sensitive than any sense a human has. A suspect can remain quiet and hide from sight but no matter how hard he tries; he can’t hide his scent from a police K-9.
When using a K-9 during a search, the dog is placed on a long leash. This allows the dog to search ahead of the rest of the team, providing a greater level of safety for everyone and making the search faster and more efficient.
During SWAT searches, the K-9 Handler communicates with his dog silently using hand signals. When the dog alerts to the presence of the suspect the officers now know where the suspect is and can deal with the suspect in the safest manner. Most suspects would rather surrender than to deal with a police K-9. When all goes well the K-9 has helps the officer to all go home that night while the suspect goes to jail.