AZ DPS

Canine

Overview

The mission of the DPS Canine Unit is to disrupt criminal organizations of various types while protecting human life in Arizona by utilizing the unique and incredible capabilities of highly skilled law enforcement canines.  The unit, which is especially effective in narcotics detection along state highways, has more than 25 canines and sworn canine handlers strategically placed throughout the state, including five canines and handlers that focus exclusively on border crimes in the southern part of the state.  The unit also assists the DPS Explosive Ordinance Detail by providing explosives detection dogs to assist with dignitary protection and the clearing of facilities in Arizona that have received bomb threats.  The unit also has various tactical canines that assist the DPS Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) during high-risk search warrants.  The unit is self sufficient and trains its own canines in specific disciplines and also instructs other law enforcement agencies on how to create and maintain effective canine programs.  Furthermore, the DPS Canine Unit participates regularly in community outreach activities, especially in schools where captivating canine demonstrations are used as effective lead-ins to educating students on issues surrounding the dangers of drugs, gangs, and reckless driving.