The K-9 Unit started in September 2001 with the Savannah Police Department and included four K-9 team. The unit consists primarily of Belgian Malinois K-9 partners.
About the Dogs
With the exception of Ziggy, each canine is considered dual purpose. This means the canines are trained in both patrol work and narcotics detection. Ziggy is trained as a single-purpose gun detection dog. The dual purpose patrol dogs are certified in both patrol work and narcotics detection. Patrol work consists of tracking suspects/missing persons, searching buildings for suspects, locating evidence used in crimes, and apprehension of suspects. Narcotics certification consists of the canine being able to locate Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, and Crystal Meth in different environments. When the teams certify we are required to search inside of buildings, cars and in open areas. Members of the unit train once a week as a group to maintain the team’s proficiency. Each handler also trains with his K-9 partner individually through the remainder of the week. The SPD K-9 teams are certified through the United States Police Canine Association and/or the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department.
The gun detection training is focused on finding weapons. Gun dogs sniff out scents associated with firearms- oils, powder, and the residue of fired gunpowder. This training helps SPD locate weapons that have been hidden or tossed aside by fleeing suspects. The gun dog certification is obtained through the National Police Canine Association.
The K-9 Unit is Commanded by:
Sgt Eric Dukarski