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
Bella is a five year old Labrador Retriever from Alabama. She joined the Boise Police Airport Unit in August of 2012, and is trained to sniff out explosives. Bella works full time at the Boise Airport keeping passengers safe, but can be called out for school searches, VIP Visits, and special events. In her off time Bella enjoys swimming in the Boise River and walks on the Greenbelt.
Edo is a German Shepard / Belgium Malinois cross breed. He was born in Slovakia. He joined the Boise Police Department in 2017 when he was two years old. Edo is trained to sniff out dangerous drugs and apprehend suspects, but he quickly became a favorite in the department for his gentle disposition and desire to play fetch. Edo has two siblings at home: Lady the Lab and Mr. Bigg the Chihuahua.
Geno is a 78 pound Belgian Malinois born in the Netherlands on March 25, 2013. Geno came to the Boise Police Department in July 2014 where he was trained to sniff out illegal drugs and apprehend dangerous criminals. Geno enjoys tucking his family into bed each night before he goes to work and sun tanning on the trampoline during his days off.
Lujza is a Belgian Malinois who came to Boise from the Lackland Air Force Base when she was two years old. Lujza was originally purchased by the U.S. Air Force in Germany and then sent to train at Lackland. She came to Boise in late 2017 and is now a friendly face at the Boise Airport. If you see her or her handler, Officer Whipps, out on patrol helping keep passengers safe, feel free to stop by and say hello.
Roki is an 85 lb German Shepard who was born in Slovakia in 2017. He came to the Boise Police Department in 2018 and has been trained as a drug detection dog, as well as a patrol dog. Roki loves to sniff out illegal drugs and apprehend suspects. In his free time, Roki enjoys laying out in the sun and receiving belly rubs.
Rosco joined the Boise Police Department in October 2014. He came to us from the Netherlands, where he was born and raised. He is a Belgian Malinois who loves coming to work, playing in the snow, swimming and eating the crust off his partner’s sandwich at lunchtime.
Vegas is a Labrador/Viszla mix. She was born and bred near Auburn, Alabama specifically for explosives detection. She spent two years as a Department of Defense dog being trained for a contract in Afghanistan. Her contract was canceled and she was given to Homeland Security. Via that agency she found her way to Boise and joined the Boise Police Department in August 2012. She is currently assigned to the Airport and works closely with the FBI, ATF and Secret Service.
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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