The Sheriff's Office maintains eight K-9 Teams.
- A K-9 Team consists of a officer and a dog
- The Rensselaer Sheriff's Office has seven K-9 Teams assigned to Highway Patrol
- The handler and dog must complete 360 hours of training before becoming certified by New York State DCJS; once certified they will train together on a weekly basis
- When not working the canines live at home with their handler and their families
- K-9's have a working career of about eight to ten years, and a life expectancy of twelve
Certification & K-9 Skills
- Police Tracking
- Narcotics Detection (To alert their trainer these dogs respond aggressively, trying to get at the substance by scratching and pawing)
- Explosive Detection (They will alert their handler by sitting next to suspected device)
- Accelerant Detection
- Canine's have a keen sense of smell allowing them to:
- Find someone who has become lost or disoriented.
- Track and locate suspects hiding and secure suspects until a deputy safely enters and makes an arrest.
- Search vehicles and buildings for suspects, narcotics, etc.