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The Scotts Valley Police Department reinstated it's K9 program in 2014.  K9 Handler Trevor Hutchison teams with K9 Xena and is certified in narcotics detection and patrol.  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.


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