Police Service Dog Safety Tips
It is important to remember that Police Service Dogs are trained to apprehend potentially violent criminals and protect their handler, so you should never approach them without first asking permission from the handler. This is the same rule all officers follow and it is not just for the public. Handlers often let members of the public meet their Police Service Dogs on a regular basis, so it is important to remember a few rules:
- Ask permission before approaching the handler and his dog
- Always approach the dog and handler directly from the front
- Listen to the handler's instructions
- Do not attempt to feed or touch the dog unless told to do so
- Be calm and do not make quick movements toward the dog or handler
Police Service Dogs are most often used in the community to search for a suspect that is hiding from police. This often requires officers to search yard to yard. Officers will attempt to make contact at any residence that requires a search of the rear yard. Follow the officer's instructions and let them know of any potential hazards for the handler or the dog (open pits, chemicals, unsecured fences, and animals). Be sure to remain inside the house with the doors locked until officers tell you they have completed the search. DO NOT OPEN A DOOR TO WATCH OR GO OUTSIDE UNTIL THE SEARCH IS DONE. We do not want the Police Service Dog distracted by you when they need to focus on locating a potentially dangerous suspect.