At the Radnor Township Police Department, K-9 Units are an essential tool in the fight against crime. A canine’s superior sense of smell allows them to not only detect miniscule odors undetectable by their human law enforcement counterparts, but to distinguish these odors from an array of distracting and/or more powerful odors. Their keen eyesight, used in the wild to detect prey, supplements this sense of smell to make them unmatched locating tools. Canines are not only intelligent and trainable, but they adapt well to new and changing situations, a constant in the unpredictable world of law enforcement.
These K-9 teams are composed of a handler assigned to a specific canine partner. Currently, the RPD K-9 unit utilizes 2 German Shepherd canines, Rocky and Bear. Police dog candidates often come from proven bloodlines with a documented lineage of quality working offspring. German Shepherds are a common choice of breeds because of their superior intelligence, versatility, stability, energy, strength and adaptability, although other breeds have proven their ability to be an excellent K-9 candidate.
The K9 Unit helps the RPD in many ways:
Provide support to preventative patrol units
Perform safety checks, keeping unauthorized persons out of restricted areas
Track fleeing subjects
Support on delivery of warrants and high-risk arrests
Search for explosives
Search for missing people
Search facilities more efficient, faster and safer
Deter crime and keep order
Provide higher level of officer safety
Reduce resistance during apprehension
Public relations (K9 demonstrations)
K-9 teams are utilized to support uniform road patrol officers. When the K-9 officers are not using their canine partners, they assist with the various calls for service.
After the K-9 team passes their certification(s), the training does not stop. Continuous maintenance training must be conducted. This training will cover basic obedience, building searches, area searches, bite work and explosive searches; but also allow trainers to cover unique scenarios encountered by other K-9 Teams on actual calls or advanced tactical training and deployment with other units.
Though the dog is a significant part of a K-9 team, the handler is extremely important. These officers are special men and women. Each is professional and self-disciplined. Officers that handle Patrol K-9s must have very good judgment, as their role as a K-9 Handler will place them in a higher percentage of critical and dangerous situations. All handlers must have a natural ability to communicate with his or her K-9 partner.
A RPD K-9 reaches the age of retirement when it can no longer physically endure the stresses of the job. After retirement, they are adopted by their handlers and live out their retirement interacting with their family.
ABOUT RADNOR TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT: Police Superintendent Christopher Flanagan oversees the Department which is staffed by 44 sworn Officers as well as full and part-time civilian staff which consists of: 1 Supervisor of Parking and Auxiliary Services; 2 Administrative Assistants; 4 Part Time Meter Inspectors; and 9 Crossing Guards. Officers are assigned to either the Detective Bureau, Highway Patrol or Patrol Divisions. The Radnor Police Department also maintains a Motor Unit, 2 K9 Officers, a Bike Patrol Unit, 2 Officers trained in Motor Carrier Safety (MCSAP), 6 SWAT Officers who are members of the Central Delaware County SWAT Team, 7 Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) Officers, as well as Officers who participate in the Delaware County Drug Task Force. The cornerstone of the Radnor Police Department is community based and oriented policing.