Th Iowa State Patrol's Police Service Dog (PSD) 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. The Iowa State Patrol has had 29 canines in service since the unit's establishment. Many of the dogs that started in the program have been retired or passed. 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 seven canines, with their handlers, have conducted and passed a 16-week Narcotics Detection and Patrol Camp. The active Handler/PSD combinations are certified under Nebraska State Standards Certification obtained through the Nebraska State Patrol. The handler/PSD combinations must complete a yearly certification to stay certified as a team.  

The seven active police service dogs are stationed 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 PSD Unit has been responsible for numerous illegal drug seizures, successful tracks of criminals and missing persons, and apprehensions of violent criminals. The PSD Unit will continue to serve the citizens of Iowa each day. When the canines are retired, the Trooper/Handler can elect to have the animal become part of their family full-time.


  • Narcotics Detection
  • Handler Protection
  • Tracking
  • Evidence Recovery
  • Criminal Apprehension
  • Building and Area Searches
  • Crowd Control
  • Tactical Deployment