Special Operations

Special Operations

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The Indian River County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit was started in 1992 with 2 dual purpose K9 teams and 1 single purpose narcotics detector K9 team. The K9 Unit has now grown to 7 dual purpose K9 teams today. Out of those 7 K9 teams, 6 are patrol / narcotics detector K9’s and 1 is a patrol / bomb detector K9. The K9 Unit also has 1 bloodhound that is trained in locating missing and endangered persons as well as lost children. The K9 deputy position is a highly sought after and competitive position. Deputies who are selected for this position have proven to be well rounded and proactive deputies


Deputies must have a minimum of 2 years law enforcement experience before applying for a K9 deputy position. All interested deputies, including deputies who have not yet attained 2 years of law enforcement experience, are provided with the ability to come out to the weekly K9 training day as an opportunity to learn more about the K9’s and how they work. Newly selected K9 deputies goes through an initial intensive 3 month patrol course. This patrol course covers obedience, tracking, building searches, area searches and the apprehension of fleeing suspects. After the patrol course is completed the new K9 team then goes through either a narcotics or bomb detection course. Once the new K9 team has successfully completed both patrol and detector courses they are considered a dual purpose K9 team and are assigned to a shift to patrol the county.


All deputies assigned to the K9 Unit are issued a Chevrolet Tahoe as a patrol vehicle. Sheriff’s Office K9 teams train in conjunction with other local municipal K9 teams on a weekly basis and certify annually as a group in both patrol functions as well as narcotics and or bomb detection. The K9 Unit frequently conducts demonstrations for citizen groups, local schools as well as public functions throughout the county. Currently K9 deputies work a 4 day on 3 day off schedule which provides for 7 day a week, 24 hour a day K9 coverage. K9 deputies are also available for callout as needed.