K-9 Unit

K-9 Utilization

Many police departments today have realized the value of police K-9 units and their ability to protect and assist officers. The Bristol Police Department has been fortunate enough to utilize this resource in protecting the community.

Presently, we have two German shepherds named Bronn and Murphy working in the Patrol Division. The handlers are Officers Hogan and O'Brien. Our Narcotics Unit houses the department’s third dog, Heather. She is a black Labrador whose sole purpose is to locate illegal narcotics.

Approaching Police K-9s

As canines are notorious for their sense of smell and the speed at which they can run, they are a valuable asset in locating criminals and evidence in any setting. Though our dogs are friendly, they have undergone rigorous training that has elevated them into highly efficient police officers. Should you meet one of our dogs and his handler on the street, please be sure to ask before approaching them.

 K-9 Handler Selection Process

In order to become a K-9 handler, our prospective officers must submit a résumé and be interviewed by a panel of supervisors. Performance evaluations, living arrangements, and a commitment to having a full-time K-9 partner are all components in selecting the proper handler. Due to the specialized training required for this position, officers are expected to remain in the program for several years and be available to respond during their off-duty hours.

Training School

Once an officer has been selected for a K-9 position, they are teamed with a dog that has also gone through a complex selection process. Together they are enrolled in the Connecticut State Police K-9 training school. While at this school, our officers and their dogs are trained to:

  • Apprehend fleeing suspects
  • Detect narcotics
  • Locate discarded evidence
  • Protect their handlers
  • Search homes and buildings for suspects
  • Track missing persons or criminal suspects

Continuing Training

Training does not end with graduation. It is an ongoing process, with the K-9 officers continually working together with their dogs to improve the program and the services that they offer. Our dogs work daily, assisting our patrol and narcotics divisions and occasionally aiding neighboring towns. Each dog and handler is provided with a modified patrol car in which the rear seat is replaced with a flat platform. Special metal window screens are installed to allow fresh air into the car at all times. In addition, all of our trained canines have been given bullet resistant vests to aid in their safety.

Donations / Financial Support

Donations can be made to help support the K-9 program. Donations can help defray the cost of medical bills, equipment, food, and for the future purchase of canines. Checks should be made out to the Bristol Police K9 Program and can be mailed to:

Bristol Police Department
Attention: Lisa Rosa
131 N. Main St.
Bristol, CT 06010