K9 Team

The K9 Unit training program was established in the early 1970's with one dog. During this time the K9 team was only trained to smell for the order of marijuana. Throughout the years the K9 Unit grew to its current strength of 14 K9 Teams. Of these current teams, 12 are trained for narcotics detection, 2 are trained for explosive detection, and 1 for human detection. They all are also trained for the police utility disciplines which includes; obedience, tracking, building search, area search, evidence recovery and criminal apprehension. Combined, these 14 teams have over 100 years of experience in K9 Policing. In 2018, the dream of having an indoor training facility for the K9 Unit became reality. The handlers and their canines are now able to training in 'house situations' at the new building which is situated on 10 acres off Harris Road.

The K9 Unit is commanded by NAPWDA Master Trainer Sgt. Robert Theurer. The Unit provides service to the department fulfilling their commitment to the Operations Division and Narcotics Division.  They also fulfill requests for K9 demonstrations and lectures with a very minimum amount of overtime incurred.  The Unit provides K9 Drug Interdiction programs for Fort Wayne Community Schools during the school year and also provides instruction on K9 policing to FWPD and other regional agencies.

Meet the Unit's K9 Officers:

K9 Alex
K9 Alex
Narcotics Detection

K9 Alex
K9 Azir

Narcotics Detection

K9 Bella
K9 Bella

Human Detection

K9 Blaze
K9 Blaze

Narcotics Detection

K9 Coris
K9 Coris
Explosive Detection

K9 Ivy
K9 Ivy

Narcotics Detection

K9 Izzy
K9 Izzy
Narcotics Detection

 

K9 Kaine
K9 Kaine
Narcotics Detection

 

K9 Lobo
K9 Lobo
Narcotics Detection

 

K9 Loki
K9 Loki
Explosive Detection

 

K9 Parys
K9 Parys
Narcotics Detection

 

K9 Rizzo
K9 Rizzo
Narcotics Detection

 

K9 Rock
K9 Rock

Narcotics Detection

K9 Shadow
K9 Shadow

Narcotics Detection

       

The Fort Wayne Police Department has on staff, two North American Police Work Dog Association Master Trainers. Affiliation with this nationally recognized organization provides credibility for our training program, certifications and courtroom testimony. There are currently three K9 teams assigned to each shift of the Operations Division of the police department. The other two teams are the K9 Unit Supervisor and the K9 Unit Trainer. They provide training and logistical support for the Unit and can supplement all three shifts as needed. One K9 team is assigned to the Narcotics division on a rotating schedule to assist in the successful completion of that division’s mission.

The dogs are hand selected for their genetic based knowledge and trainability. We look for young, intelligent and very sociable animals with a preference for the shepherd breeds. We typically begin training when the animal reaches 18 to 24 months old. The animal is paired with a candidate handler and they begin a 13 week basic training program together. Either one or both can wash out of the program. Upon successful completion of the basic class the team is certified and assigned to a shift. The police dogs live with their human counterparts and their families. Although these animals are wonderful members of their human family, they are not to be considered or treated as family pets because of their training. These dogs work very hard. They receive the best in nutrition, training and medical care and are considered athletes. Because of this they can typically work several years before retirement. Once a police dog is retired, they typically remain with their handler and live out their lives with their human family.

These police dogs are a valuable asset to the Fort Wayne Police Department and to the citizens of Fort Wayne. They have a sense of smell that we cannot fully comprehend. By harnessing their natural abilities, we are able to locate more concealed contraband people, and evidence at a fraction of the cost of a human officer. The Fort Wayne Police Department’s K9 Unit supports the FWCS Safety and Security Office by providing K9 teams at the request of High School and Middle School Administrators for the implementation of the joint K9 School Drug Interdiction Program.