Canine (K9) Unit

Police have long used dogs' keen sense of smell to search for suspects, inspect suspicious items, or detect hidden evidence.
There are different types of canine dogs working for SPD:

Patrol/Generalist Dogs - 

  • Find criminal suspects and locates evidence. 
  • Trained to search buildings, open areas. 
  • Work at night, but can be called out during the day as needed. 

Narcotics Dogs - 

  • Trained to detect heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
  • Can find hidden narcotics and can be used to obtain search warrants.
  • Works with the Narcotics Unit, Major Crimes Task Force, Precinct Anti-Crime Teams, and Patrol.

Bomb Detection Dog - 

  • Trained to detect chemical compounds in gunpowder and commercial and military explosives.
  • Works with the Arson/Bomb Team and assists other agencies in the region.

Electronic Storage Detection Dog - 

  • Trained to detect chemical compounds in electronic devices.
  • SPD has one of only three dogs in the country trained for electronic storage detection.
  • Works with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.

These highly-trained dogs who are partnered with a K9 officer. The K9 officers work and live with their dogs, so that training is continuous and ongoing.   K9 officers generally work in the unit until their dog is ready to retire. Canine officer continue to live with their assigned officer after retirement.


Sue Rahr, Interim Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".