The working K-9 has become an integral part of law enforcement. For centuries dogs have had a well-established place in law enforcement. Working as loyal members of team with their human partners, they have proven to be invaluable in such vital areas as explosive and narcotics detection, and searching for criminals as well as lost or missing persons, including children and Alzheimer’s patients.
These frontline partners in the fight against crime lay their lives on the line every day. In many ways, dogs contribute more to achievement of law enforcement objectives than sophisticated law enforcement technology. The dogs work much faster in a building search then police officers can by themselves. In a test of searching a warehouse, it took 4 or 5 officers almost 2 ½ hours on average to complete a search, often without finding a suspect. A dog did the same work in 15 minutes with 100 percent success. Despite the long and distinguished history of canines in law enforcement, their capabilities and applications are still emerging. As a detector, the dog is still unsurpassed because he is able to multiplex trained odors in unusual situations and new environments. At night the K-9 sees clearly. Their senses alert then to the armed suspect nobody realizes is there.
Oregon City Police Department received its first K-9 in December 2003 when Titus joined the Department. The ability to add Titus to the Department was made possible after community members donated over $20,000 for his purchase and training. Veterinarian care, food, a kennel, and other supplies were also donated by local businesses. Titus accompanied his handler, Officer Dan Shockley, on patrol and together they were responsible for the apprehension of numerous suspects until Titus's retirement. Officer Shockley now has a Belgian Malinois named Flint as his K9 partner.
Due to the success of the Oregon City Police Department K-9 program, another K-9 was added in April 2008. Jagger, a three – year old Belgian Malinois, was imported from Germany. Sgt. Shaun Davis is Jagger’s handler. Sgt. Davis and Jagger attended K-9 training, which included obedience, protection (bite work), tracking, area searches, water training, building searches, person searches, and vehicle extractions. This training resulted in Jagger becoming certified through the Oregon Police Canine Association. After receiving his certification Jagger started his first shift with Sgt. Davis on May 11, 2008. Much of the expense of purchasing, training and caring of Jagger and Flint has been made possible through the donations and generosity of the Oregon City community. Jagger will be retiring in mid September 2014.
Officer Bill Horton became the departments third K-9 handler in January 2014. His K-9 partner is Mac who was born in April 2010 in the Netherlands. Mac was trained as a KNPV sport dog before being sold to a breeder/trainer in Southern California. Officer Horton and Mac attended a comprehensive 8 week training with a master K-9 trainer from Clackamas County.