The Boise Police canine teams are used in a variety of ways while deployed on shift. One of the most common uses is for drug detection when patrol officers have arrested a suspect and have probable cause to believe illegal drugs may be present in vehicles, buildings or other locations. Because of the extensive training the canines receive and their acute sense of smell, they are extremely proficient in locating hidden drugs. They often locate illegal drugs in areas where a patrol officer cannot see.
Several BPD canines are also trained to locate and apprehend violent criminal suspects. With their extensive training and sense of smell, they often locate hidden suspects in locations where officers may not have been able to safely locate them. The dogs are very proficient at tracking and locating suspects that have fled crime scenes, searching large open areas such as parks and parking lots, and building searches including crawl spaces and attics.
In addition to finding and apprehending the actual suspects, the canines can also be used to locate articles dropped or hidden by fleeing suspects, such as weapons or clothing. These article searches are performed just like a canine might search for a suspect.
Today, the Boise Police Canine Unit consists of:
- Drug detection dogs. All BPD drug detection dogs are certified by the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy, having achieved the required 100% proficiency.
- Drug detection/suspect apprehension dogs. These dual purpose dogs are purchased at a young age and can be very costly due to their breeding and early training. Many dual purpose police patrol dogs are born in Europe and later sent to American suppliers who then sell the dogs to police agencies. These dogs require in-depth training with their handler before they are ready for police work.
- Explosive detection dogs. These dogs are assigned to the Boise Airport but are often called upon to respond to any location throughout the Treasure Valley. These dogs are purchased with Homeland Security funds.
Current BPD Service Dogs
Aira is a German Shepherd born in the Netherlands in 2020. She joined the Boise Police Airport K9 unit in 2022. Aira is trained to sniff for many different kinds of explosives. She works at the Boise Airport but is often called out to work in the community at schools, businesses, and special events. Aira’s favorite activity is playing fetch. Aira’s personal message: Never distract a police K9 when they are working and always ask before walking up to them.
Clyde is a black Lab mix who was 2 years old when he joined BPD in March of 2022. He is trained to sniff out illegal drugs and is assigned to the Neighborhood Contact Officer Unit. When Clyde is not at work, he enjoys playing fetch with whatever he can find and never seems to get tired.
Dozer is a Belgian Malinois, born on April 16th, 2022. He was born in Holland and his commands are in Dutch. Dozer started working for the Boise Police Department in February 2023. He is a Dual Purpose K9 which means he is trained to detect certain illegal drugs and apprehend violent criminals. Dozer's favorite treat is French Fries, and he loves playing with his tug toy. His favorite part of every day is going to work and protecting the people of Boise.
Endy is a 85 pound Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix who was born in Slovakia. Endy joined the Boise Police Department in 2019 and was trained as a suspect apprehension canine, as well as drug detection. He is extremely energetic and loves his job of sniffing out illegal drugs and chasing down bad guys.
Krisz Kuras is a German Shorthaired Pointer trained to be an explosive Detection Canine to keep passengers, citizens and officers safe. His second name, Kuras, is in honor of a 9/11 victim who was in the towers at the time of the attack. Krisz started as a Boise Police Explosive Canine in 2019 with his handler Officer Keely. Krisz loves people and playing with toys.
Meko is a 75lb Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix born in Slovakia in 2018 and started with Boise Police Department in 2022. Meko is trained as a drug detection and suspect apprehension canine. He is very energetic and loves his job. On Meko’s days off he enjoys playing tug-of-war with his toys and eating cheese sticks!
Rico is a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois cross breed and he was born in Slovakia. He joined the Boise Police Department in 2020 when he was 1 year old. Rico is trained to sniff out illegal drugs and to apprehend dangerous criminals. Rico loves to chase his ball across the yard with his best friend (Sage the black lab) at home. Rico's favorite food is hot dogs!
Sep is a German Shepherd who joined the Boise Police Department in July 2019. Sep is assigned to the Boise Airport as an explosives detection dog. Sep loves his job and works hard keeping the public safe every day. When he is not at work, Sep loves to play ball and hang out at home with his doggie “siblings.”
Jardo was shot in 2016 while working as a K9 member of BPD’s Special Operations Unit. He and his team were searching for a suspect when that suspect opened fire, shooting Jardo and two other Boise Police officers. Jardo underwent surgery but sadly passed away from complications a few days later. Jardo is credited with giving his life to protect his fellow officers. His attempt to apprehend the suspect allowed officers to return fire and prevent any further violence toward officers. A memorial service honoring Jardo was held at Taco Bell Arena and was open to the public.
Jardo was a Belgian Malinois and was born in Europe. He joined the Boise Police Department in 2013 when he was 2 years old. He was trained to track and apprehend dangerous criminals. He was also trained to find evidence of crimes and locate dangerous street drugs.
Boise K-9 History
The Boise Police Department implemented a patrol canine program in 1995 with the first canine/handler teams going into service in early in 1996. The Canine Unit is comprised of the canine/handler teams and two Sergeants. A Lieutenant is assigned as the program coordinator. The patrol unit teams are assigned to each of the day, swing and night shift teams as members of that patrol team. The canines used by the Boise Police Department are trained extensively in handler protection, suspect apprehension and drug detection.
Common Questions About BPD's K-9 Unit
Q. What kind of dogs does the Boise Police Department use?
A. All of our dogs currently are either Labs, German Shepherds or Belgian Malanois. The dual purpose drug detection-suspect apprehension dogs are imported from Europe and receive training both in Europe and in the United States prior to being placed on a patrol shift.
Q. Where do the dogs live when they are not working?
A. All of the canines reside with the handler in their residence when not on duty and become part of the family. This gives the dog a chance to socialize with people other than the handler and to have a secure location so they can recover from the stress of a normal working day.
Q. Are these dogs vicious or dangerous?
A. No. On the contrary, these dogs are very social and friendly and the selection process for the dogs stresses these points when bringing new K9's onto the force. Although each dog has a distinct personality, just as people do, the dogs are comfortable around people. It is important, however, to always ask the handler for permission to pet the dog as they are trained to protect the handler from a sudden attack and may misinterpret a sudden movement towards them as a threat. In addition, because of the strenuous nature of the work they do, the dogs occasionally develop sore spots which the handler is generally aware of and can help you avoid. As with all animals, it is never a wise choice to tease the dogs.
Boise Police Canine Foundation
The BPD Canine Foundation is a charitable fund that supports the operation of the BPD K9 unit. These funds allow for additional training materials to help maintain the patrol dogs' skills and are outside of the annual operating budget for BPD.
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