The Hall County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit consists of 13 handler / working dog teams, assigned to all divisions of the department. Teams assigned to the Patrol, Warrants, and the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad are certified in several areas to include suspect tracking and apprehension, narcotics detection, article search and evidence recovery, and building searches. Teams assigned to the School Resource Officer program are trained specifically for narcotics detection, and a team assigned to the courthouse is a designated explosives detection team.
About the Dogs
The program utilizes several different dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Labrador Retrievers, all of which possess particular traits that make them especially well-suited for their assigned duties.
In addition to their regular duties, the K-9 teams are utilized for a variety of public relations and community outreach functions. Each dog is assigned solely to his or her handler and lives with them at their home, creating a strong bond that ensures a solid working partnership between the two.
Important Things to Note Regarding K-9 Working Dogs
While these dogs may look like any other pet, realize that they are also highly trained law enforcement tools and must be treated accordingly. There is no need to be fearful of these dogs, but there are a few rules that should be followed to ensure everyone's safety when interacting with a K-9 team.
Never approach a K-9 unless the handler is present and has said that it's okay to do so
Don't reach inside a vehicle to pet a K-9
Make an effort not to startle or surprise a K-9. If you must approach a K-9 team, do so from the front, speak to the handler in a normal tone of voice, and stop a few feet further away than you normally would to hold a conversation
Do not make aggressive gestures or movements in the presence of a K-9, even in a joking manner. The dog will not know if you are joking, and most of these dogs are trained to key in on this type of behavior
Failure to follow these rules may result in a serious bite