The Central Bucks Regional Police Department established a K9 Unit in 2018. The Unit was funded by the Central Bucks Regional Police Foundation, Inc. through tremendous community support. The Unit began with one K9 team, Officer Andrew Hochmuth and his partner, Baron. Since its inception, the Unit expanded with the addition of another K9 team, Officer Greg Kutys and his partner, Odie.
K9 Baron and K9 Odie are both dual certified in both patrol and narcotic detection. The K9 Teams are utilized in warrant arrests, crimes in progress, building searches, suspect tracking, evidence location, high-risk vehicle stops and narcotic searches. The Unit has already distinguished itself throughout the region by successfully assisting in high profile drug cases. Both K9 Teams assist throughout Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties when requested.
Below are the Top Ten K9 Questions we receive:
- Where do the police dogs stay when they're not working? Baron and Odie stay with their Handler (Officer) and their families. It is the responsibility of the Handler to care for their K9 24 hours a day.
- Can the dog do tricks? The K9's are not trained to do tricks. Their training pertains to the functions required as a working service dog.
- What breed of dog is used for K9 work? CBRPD has a Dutch Shepard (K9 Baron) and a German Shepard (K9 Odie). Other breeds include Belgian Malinois and Labrador Retrievers.
- What happens to the dog when it gets too old to work? In most cases, the dog is retired and given to their Handler to keep as part of the family.
- How much does it cost to purchase a K9 dog? The price varies, but normally the cost exceeds $9,000 per dog. The dog has minimal training when it is purchased and must go through extensive training at Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia.
- How do you become a K9 Handler? CBRPD requires applicants to pass a series of tests and interviews to become eligible.
- How long do the K9 Handlers and their dogs train? Initially, the Handlers and their dogs train approximately 6 months at Penn Vet Working Dog Center. The K9 teams then continuously train at Penn Vet Working Dog Center and out in the field while on duty.
- How many years can a K9 dog work? Depending on their physical health, most K9s are able to work an average of ten years. Some dogs remain very healthy and are able to work beyond that point.
- What do you feed the dogs and how much do they weigh? The dogs are fed dry food just like your pets at home. Their weight varies depending on the breed, but German Shepards are the largest and generally weigh about 80-100 lbs.
- Do the dogs bite? YES - ALL dogs bite! Never approach any dog without the owner's permission.