The first recorded use of dogs performing police work was in St. Malo, France in the early 14th century, when they were used to guard dock installations.
But it was not until 1888 when the modern police dog originally came into being. It was at that time when the London Metropolitan Police Force first used two bloodhounds to track suspects by scent as part of the infamous Jack the Ripper investigation. Although “The Ripper” was never apprehended, the use of police dogs continued.
Many are unaware that police working dogs are truly considered full-fledged police officers. Assaulting, injuring, or killing a police canine carries the same punishment under the law as the equivalent offense committed against a human officer.
The K-9 Unit is one of the field components of the uniformed division assigned to the night platoon; as such, it is deployed at the direction of the Night Commanding Officer in keeping with all policies, procedures, rules and regulations.
In addition to working patrol, the K-9 Unit will be deployed for specific incidents where having a canine is advantageous, such as crowd control, building and vehicle searches, pursuit of fleeing suspects, apprehending barricaded subjects, and the search for missing persons.
As for community relations, the canine will be available in the future at the local elderly manors and schools to not only display the tools being utilized to combat crime, but also to show the measures that are being taken to keep the residents of Central Falls safe.