The K9 Law Enforcement Training / Tactics Landscape
We all know that the landscape of law enforcement today is vastly more complex than that of even a decade ago. The old model for K9 and Defensive Tactics training followed the ‘one size fits all’ approach; and two or three decades back, there were few viable alternatives. Nowadays though, ignorance is no longer a plausible excuse and it is expected that professionals keep abreast with best practice in all areas of training - including K9 / Defensive Tactics.
There are two parts to the problem. The first being that most large Law Enforcement agencies are simply overwhelmed with operational duties, administrative considerations and the like, that they simply do not have either the time or the resources to be keeping abreast with changes in K9 Defensive Tactics training models - most of which are taking place at an accelerated rate within the private sector. The end result of this is that the K9 / Defensive Tactics training models in use tend to be decades ‘behind the times’. The second part of the problem is that operational needs vary greatly from agency to agency and from group to group within those agencies. The idea of one all-encompassing K9 / Defensive Tactics training package that will fulfil everyone’s needs - is simply a myth.
In as far as it is practicable to do so, everyone should be trained in a Core Competencies K9 / Defensive Tactics package that reflects absolute best practice by today’s standards. The emphasis here should be placed on DEFENCE - with the primary goal being to maximize survival opportunities and safety for the operator. Most Law Enforcement agencies are decades behind the private sector in this area. Operators remain at greater risk than at any other time in history. This needs to be resolved. And it is an extraordinarily simple task to do so.
On top of this Core Competencies package there needs to be a number of Operationally Specific packages that are tailored to the very specific needs of the specialized groups. Some groups need an emphasis on K9 Assault - Takedown, Control & Restraint, whist others may need to focus on Explosive and Narcotics searching two very different types of training. These add-on K9 Training modules need to be married on to the Core Competencies package but be tailored specifically to the operational groups needs.
Our part in the solution:
It has been our life’s work to stay ahead of the trends in K9 breeding, canine training and the overlapping fields of animal learning and K9 / defensive tactics that operators employ on a daily basis. A significant part of our work each year is devoted to seeking out the very best working dog genetics and people (on all four corners of the globe) in all facets of training and animal management – thereby keeping ourselves at the very cutting edge of developments in both teaching and training methodologies. We also spend a considerable amount of time and recourses in reducing and structuring all that research into meaningful training models for a wide variety of groups – in both the public and private sectors. During the past decade, we have been able to provide a unique bridge between new developments in the private sector and the constantly changing needs of the public sector. As a consultant to a wide cross section of both the military and law enforcement communities, we come to the table as subject matter experts with the big picture in hand.