Patrol Standards

Patrol Certification

The evaluation for certification will be a pass/fail evaluation.  All K-9 Certifications are valid for 1 year. If a new handler is assigned the team must re-certify. NTPDA recommends that departments have a departmental “K-9 use of force” policy prior to team utilization, and that handlers are aware of how that policy relates to the use of their K-9.  NTPDA also recommends that each team perform a departmental weapons qualification as a K-9 team.

Prerequisites:

  1. Handlers must provide a copy of  a minimum of 21 days of prior training records.

  2. Handlers must have available  a copy of a departmental SOP at the certification.

  3. For patrol certifications, the handler must at a minimum have a pistol belt with flashlight, handcuffs (with key), and a training weapon or unloaded duty weapon.

  4. The handler should bring any departmentally approved K9 training equipment to the evaluation (i.e. E-collars, harnesses, leashes and lines). If departmentally approved equipment is not referenced in the SOP, a letter from the chief of police or unit commander referencing the equipment that is departmentally approved shall be provided.

  5. The Patrol certification will consist of an obedience pre-test (to establish minimum standards for control), area search scenario, building search scenario, and interview scenario.  The basic elements of the scenarios and the requirements of the handler during these scenarios are explained below. The evaluator will set up each scenario within the guidelines listed below to evaluate the k-9 team’s performance, with the scenarios structured to provide the realism of unknown circumstances and incomplete information.

Part 1: Obedience & Agility Test.

Equipment: Metal Chain or Fur-Saver on Dead ring, 6′ leash held in hand, or departmentally approved equipment.

The object of this pre-test is to establish a minimum standard for control. Distractions, at the discretion of the judge, may be employed during the test.  In the patrol scenarios that follow, the use of obedience & agility commands may be necessary to complete the scenarios.

Obedience Routine: The obedience routine shall be set up in a scenario, such as an alarm call, a call out for perimeter security, or some other scenario likely to be encountered in a real life deployment of a K9 team.

The following shall be required exercises for evaluation in obedience:

  • Heeling on leash (including left, right, about turns, heeling through groups, fast pace, slow pace)

  • Stays on or off leash (Sit or Down, possibly in the presence of decoy during Terry Frisk)

  • Terry Frisk & Prisoner Transport on leash (rear transport or side transport)

  • Distance control off leash or on long line (Drop on command, sit on command)

  • Motion exercises on or off leash (handler’s choice of sit, down, stand)

  • Recall to Heel on or off leash.

  • Obedience/steadiness under Gunfire

  • Obstacles to negotiate (tunnels, meter jumps, Chain link fence, sends over jumps from distance of under 5 meters – these shall be naturally occurring urban or rural objects likely encountered on patrol)

Example Obedience Routine: Handler arrives at school alarm call. Handler heels to the front door from patrol car on leash. Dog is commanded to down stay (handler drops leash) at the front door as he checks for forced entry to the door, and other doors along the outside wall of the school (within 50 meters of the dog). The handler returns to the dog, and heels back toward the car, making a right turn to proceed along the building to the corner. The handler and dog must negotiate a fence (send dog over fence and drop him on the other side using a long line). Handler uses the dog to check around the corner for activity, and recalls the dog back to him over the fence. Handler and dog then execute an about turn and heel down the building. Noise is heard in the background around the corner. The handler and dog fast heel to a position of cover. Handler rocks out around corner to check for safe passage. Handler and dog fast heel in a crouch along the wall of the building. Handler commands the dog to down in motion, as he proceeds to the next corner of the building, leaving the dog in a stay to act as his rear guard. Handler rocks out around the corner, and calls his dog to heel at his position. Handler and dog proceed together in a slow pace heel around an air conditioner, where a suspect (in a bite suit) is encountered. Handler verbally challenges suspect, makes him drop the object in his hands, and proceed out in the open. The handler proceeds to Terry frisk the suspect with the dog in a guard position. Handler proceeds to transport suspect to the patrol car.

This routine is completed using on leash heeling, dropping the leash during stays, recall to heel, and Terry Frisk. Prisoner transport is completed on leash, as is the send and down over the jump.

75% of available points required for passing the evaluation.

NTPDA Obedience Scenarios

Part 2: Patrol Scenarios: Area Search, Building Search, Felony Vehicle Stop and Interview.The team must pass the obedience test to go on to this portion of the certification. The patrol scenarios shall be comprised of an interview, area search test, felony vehicle stop test, and building search test in which specific tasks are tested for the K-9 and the K-9 handler.Patrol Tasks: The Handler & K-9 shall be judged on the performance of the following tasks:

  1. Civil Bite (Hidden Sleeve and/or Muzzle Attack)

  2. Bite under gunfire and/or return gunfire.

  3. Release on verbal command

  4. Tactical Removal (lift off) from bite

  5. Terry frisk & Handcuff with K9 Under Control.

  6. Call-off (Recall)

  7. Multiple Suspects in one of the scenarios.

  8. Transport

  9. Test of Courage

  10. Passive Bite

The Handler shall be further evaluated on the performance of the following tasks:

  1. General Tactical Awareness

  2. Control of scene & back-up officers

  3. Decision making

There shall be 4 scenarios presented to the K9 Team in which the above named elements will be tested at the judge’s discretion.

  1. Tactical Area Search

  2. Tactical Building Search

  3. Felony Vehicle Stop

  4. Interview Test (Surprise Scenario

Patrol Task: Tactical Area Search:

This test is designed to test the K-9s ability to search for and apprehend a suspect hidden in a perimetered area.

  1. The Evaluator will designate the boundaries of the area to be searched. The evaluator will have final discretion as to the suitability of the area. The hosting agency shall arrange for appropriate areas for conducting this evaluation. The terrain (rural, urban, and suburban) in the department’s patrol area shall be a major consideration in the selection of the evaluation area.

  2. The suspect shall be hidden for at least 15 minutes before the K-9 Team starts the test.

  3. The Evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test in the position of a back-up officer without assisting the team.

  4. K-9 must find the suspect and apprehend by either “Hold-and-Bark” or “Bite and Hold” appropriate to the behavior of the suspect and departmental SOP.

  5. The dog shall transport the suspect out of the area at the rear of the suspect, on-leash.

  6. The handler may choose the starting point outside the search area.

  7. The handler shall decide whether to search on or off leash, based on the scenario and safety considerations.

  8. The K-9 Team will be graded on a pass or fail basis.

Basic Scenario set-up: The K-9 Team shall arrive at a designated area that is appropriately set up with a perimeter. The handler shall exit his car and speak with the evaluator. Upon the evaluator’s signal, the handler shall open his K-9’s door and call the dog to heel position to gain initial control of the dog, affix any equipment for the specified task, and break his dog.

The K-9 team will then search the designated area for the suspect. The suspect may give up, attack or flee from the K-9, according to the evaluator’s discretion in setting up the scenario. The K-9 team must respond accordingly to apprehend, search/terry frisk, and transport the suspect out of the search area on leash. The suspect will then be escorted away by back up.

Patrol Task: Tactical Building Search:

This is designed to mimic a working situation in which the K-9 Team will be expected to search for a suspect in a building or portion of the building. The K-9 Team will be graded on a pass or fail basis.

  1. The object of this test is to determine the ability of the K-9 Team to detect, indicate and apprehend a suspect if necessary. The K-9 shall perform the apprehension according to the suspect’s behavior (under direction of the evaluator) and the department’s SOP (find/bite or find/bark).

  2. The suspect shall be hidden for at least 15 minutes before the K-9 Team starts the test. The suspect will use a hidden sleeve or full body bite suit for this test. The suspect may also be armed with a padded stick or other weapon and may use the contents of the room to deter the K-9 pursuit (chairs, tables, etc).

  3. The Evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test in the position of a back-up officer without assisting the team.

  4. K-9 must find the suspect and apprehend by either “Hold-and-Bark” or “Bite and Hold” appropriate to the behavior of the suspect and departmental SOP

  5. The dog shall transport the suspect out of the building at the rear of the suspect, on-leash.

  6. The handler shall decide whether to search on or off leash, based on the scenario and safety considerations.

  7. There may be more than one subject in the building and the handler may be directed to continue the search after the initial apprehension.

Basic Scenario Set-Up: The handler must make an appropriate announcement and tactical entry into the building.The handler must show control of his K-9 and be able to direct the K-9 to various rooms with verbal or hand signals. After the K-9 Team has found, indicated and/or apprehended the suspect, the handler must out his dog if appropriate, and perform a search/terry frisk of the suspect. The handler must observe all prudent methods of officer survival techniques during the building search. Failure of the handler to do so may result in the K-9 team failing the test.

Patrol Task: Felony Vehicle Stop:

This test is designed to mimic a working situation in which a K9 team will be expected to deal with a felony suspect in a vehicle stop situation. The K-9 Team will be graded on a pass or fail basis.

  1. The object of this test is to determine the ability of the K-9 Team to apprehend a suspect. The K-9 shall perform the apprehension according to the suspect’s behavior (under direction of the evaluator) and the department’s SOP.

  2. The suspect shall be hidden for at least 15 minutes before the K-9 Team starts the test. The suspect will use a hidden sleeve or full body bite suit for this test. The suspect may also be armed with a padded stick or other weapon and may use distractions to deter the K-9 pursuit.

  3. The Evaluator or assistant evaluator will accompany the K-9 Team the entire test in the position of a back-up officer.

  4. K-9 must energetically apprehend the suspect, and the K9 officer must maintain proper tactical position during the apprehension

  5. There may be more than one subject in the vehicle and the handler may need to continue the search after the initial apprehension.

  6. The handler shall disengage the dog according to the direction of the evaluator.

Special Note on Integrated Task: Call-Off:The call-off (or recall, or stopped attack) shall be integrated into one of the four basic scenarios described above, or be set up independently. The officer will be directed to apprehend a suspect in hiding. The handler shall call for the suspect to come out of his hiding place. The suspect shall come out, and the handler shall alert his dog on leash. The suspect will be holding a weapon, and initially refuse to give up. The handler will deploy the K9 to apprehend the suspect, based on the suspect’s behavior and/or commands from the evaluator. When the subject “gives up” the dog must be stopped from the attack, either by calling off and returning, or being commanded to down, or continuing to the suspect and performing a hold and bark. The suspect shall become passive upon giving up. The call off shall be a maximum of half the distance to the suspect at the time he gives up.

Walk Through & Confidentiality: Handlers shall be walked through the general set up of each scenario prior to deploying for evaluation. Handlers may ask questions to clarify the parameters of what will be evaluated. Each handler shall perform each scenario one at a time. A staging area for those who have not yet been evaluated shall be designated. Upon completing the evaluation, the handler shall proceed to a separate de-brief area, and shall not co-mingle with those who have not yet performed the evaluation at hand. This shall apply to all elements of any test at every NTPDA certification. Passing information to other handlers about a scenario via any means, be it verbal, messaging, or telecommunication shall result in the failure of anyone providing or receiving the information at the evaluator’s sole discretion.