United States Park Police Canine Unit was
established in 1959, the first in the Washington, DC, area.
Two years earlier, Chief Stewart sent Sgt. Alfred Beye
to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Training Kennel
in Nova Scotia, Canada. Sgt. Beye then trained with the
Baltimore City Police Canine Unit and returned to train
our first canines.
first handlers were members of the Horse Mounted Unit. They
trained each dog in different language commands, so that
others could not control them. These included Spanish-Indian,
German and Japanese. Once they trained the dogs, they would
trot along next to the Horse Mounted handler while he patrolled
the horse trails. Eventually, the Force only assigned the
canine handler the duties of working with a trained dog.
By the early 70's, only 1 canine team remained.
Canine Unit is specifically
trained for drug and explosives detection. This special unit
also provides search and rescue services and assists in securing
areas prior to the arrival of the President, Vice President,
and visiting Heads of State. In 1974 the Force added the
first explosives detector dogs. Also in the mid 1970s, the
Force trained the first narcotics detector dog teams. Over
the years the canine unit has moved between the Patrol Branch
and the Special Forces Branch, to which it is currently assigned.
The Force currently has a number of canines which are assigned
in WDC as patrol dogs. Several of these dogs are also cross-trained
in narcotics detection. The Force also has officers and canines
assigned as explosives detector teams in WDC. The Force has
a number of dog teams assigned in the New York Field Office
and the San Francisco Field Office.