K-9 Unit

The Spokane Police Department K-9 Unit provides support to SPD members and other regional law enforcement agencies by safely and efficiently searching buildings and vehicles, apprehending suspects, tracking fleeing suspects, and protecting officers. The canines also provide support by finding evidence, searching for lost subjects that are in extreme danger, giving public demonstrations for civic events and organizations, and teaching other law enforcement agencies basic and advanced K-9 skills and tactics.

Many of the canines have been imported from European lineage. The canine unit has primarily had German Shepherd canines from Czechoslovakia, and Germany, as well as Belgian Malinois canines from the Netherlands. The canines live at home with their Officer handlers and their families, and eventually go on to live with their handlers after they retire from service.

TOP DOG AWARD: In 2015 Ofc. Paul Buchmann and his partner K-9 Talon were the TOP DOG Award. The TOP DOG is selected after each K-9 officer and his K-9 partner compete in several events throughout the year. At the end of the year, scores in the following categories are tallied and the K-9 and K-9 officer with the highest score are given the TOP DOG award!

  • Obedience
  • Control Work
  • Fastest Track
  • Fastest Building search
  • Fastest Evidence search
  • Firearms
  • Handler Two Mile Run
  • Most inspirational

Dog Selection: The Spokane Police Department's first dogs were imported German Shepherds trained in Schutzhund (protection dog sport). Each K-9 is tested and trained in a rigorous program to insure only the finest K-9’s are qualified to protect the citizens of Spokane. We look for dogs that are social and fearless. We need dogs that are social because they will work around many different Officers (not necessarily just their handler) during their career. We also need dogs that are fearless because of the demands of their deployments on the street. It is not uncommon to return dogs that fail to meet the standards that are set.

Explosive Detection K-9:The Spokane Police Department canine unit also utilizes an Explosive Detection K-9. SPD's explosive detection K-9, "Ryker", assists with calls such as suspicious devices, unattended packages, and safety sweeps during large scale events (i.e. parades and sporting events). Ryker is a single purpose dog trained to detect the odor of explosives, including high explosives as well as gun powder and ammunition.

Donations: The Spokane Police Department K-9 Unit relies heavily on donations to maintain the high standard of care that is required for dogs in the unit. 100% of donations to the Spokane Police K-9 Unit go towards the care, maintenance, and training of the dogs. Documentation is provided for charitable tax donations upon request.

The Spokane Police K-9 Unit accepts donations for the purchase of dogs, equipment and safety supplies. Please contact K-9 Sergeant Sean Wheeler by phone 509.625.4116 or email swheeler@spokanepolice.org.

Donations can be made out to: Spokane Police K-9 Unit. Please contact Sgt. Sean Wheeler if you have any questions regarding donations and thank you for your support.

The SPD K-9 Unit would like to thank the following people for their gracious donations to our unit:

  • Brown Building Supply
  • Dan and Cindy Starks
  • Edge Construction Supply
  • Goodwill
  • Joe Fisher
  • Johnstone Supply
  • K9 Support Northwest (founder: Carla Blazek)
  • Oxarc
  • Ralph Anderson
  • Safeway Supply
  • Sue & Ted Olson
  • Sue Christensen
  • White's Boots
  • Wild Rose Graphics

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