Our K9 team is composed of our K9 Officers “Atlas” and his handler, Sgt. Brandon Polito and "Odin" and his handler, Ofcr. Jared Johnson.  Atlas and Odin are Sable Shepherds that hail from overseas.  The teams are certified in narcotics detection and patrol.  The Scotts Valley Police Department reinstated it's K9 program in 2014 with the addition of Atlas and Odin joined the ranks in 2019.  Using the K9’s heightened sense of smell and hearing the team assists in multiple police functions including:

  • Narcotics detection in vehicles, buildings, packages and luggage

  • Tracking fleeing suspects or lost individuals by following their scent

  • Article/Evidence searches

  • Building searches for hidden suspects

  • Apprehensions, show of force, use of force

  • Handler protection

  • Public Demonstrations

  • Assisting neighboring agencies with all of the above


In order to become a K9 handler an officer must be an experienced, highly motivated, proactive officer and must pass the selection process.  After a handler is selected, the task of selecting a specific dog begins.  Dogs are selected by evaluating their drive and personality, in order to appropriately match them with the department and their handler.  Once both parts of the team are selected the dog and handler begin a bonding process and then enter a 6 week training program.  After completion of the training program the team continues to train monthly in order to maintain high performance.  The average career length of a police K9 is 6-9 years.


K9 Atlas with Sgt. Polito

K9 Odin with Ofcr. Johnson