This unit was established in 1992 after a generous donation from Mr. Jim Hawk (Jim Hawk Trailer Company).
Five dogs were originally purchased and the handlers and canines went through a four-week training academy to become certified. Since the start of the Police Service Dog Unit, the Iowa State Patrol has had 29 canines in service since 1992. Many of the dogs that started in the program have been retired or passed. Currently, there are seven active certified dual purpose canines in service. The breed of canines currently being used are Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, and Dutch Shepherd.
The 7 canines, with their handlers, have conducted and passed a sixteen week Narcotics Detection and Patrol Camp. The active Handler/PSD combinations are certified under Nebraska State
Standards Certification obtained through Nebraska State Patrol. The handler/PSD combinations must complete a yearly certification to stay certified as a team.
Currently, the active 7 Police Service Dogs are located across the State. The assigned handlers are responsible for the PSD’s continued training and maintenance. The canines are housed at each handler’s house and are the full responsibility of the handler. The Iowa State Patrol Police Service Dog Unit has been responsible for numerous illegal drug seizures, successful tracks of criminals and missing persons, and apprehensions of violent criminals. Iowa State Patrol PSD Unit will continue to serve the citizens of Iowa each and every day. When the canines are retired, the Trooper/Handler can elect to have the animal become part of their family full-time.
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