DISCLAIMER: The following FAQs and summaries were produced by the Policing Project, a non-profit organization. Although based on official policies of the Camden County Police Department, they do NOT represent official CCPD policy, practice, custom, or procedure. These FAQs and summaries should not be treated as complete or comprehensive. To read the official CCPD policy in full, view them here or click the blue button on each summary page.


For what purposes are police service dogs used in the CCPD K-9 Unit? 

CCPD’s K-9 Unit includes police service dogs that can:

  • Track and locate persons fleeing police custody as well as persons who are lost or suffering mental deficiency;

  • Search open areas and buildings for suspects attempting to evade capture;

  • Stop suspects from actively resisting or assaulting an officer;

  • Locate evidence, narcotics, explosives, and dead bodies; and

  • Assist officers in training and public demonstrations.

What happens when an officer uses a dog to stop a suspect from fleeing or resisting arrest?

 Whenever possible, officers will give a suspect an opportunity to surrender before releasing a police service dog by giving a warning, such as: “Police. You are under arrest. Stop or I will release my police dog and he will bite you.”

Once released, police dogs are trained to chase and seize hold of a suspect. The officer will immediately advise the suspect to stop resisting the dog. If the suspect persists, the dog may need to adjust its hold, resulting in more than one bite. After the suspect complies with the officer’s commands, the dog will be instructed to release its hold and to assume a “watch” position in case the suspect again tries to flee or resist.

All suspects bitten by police service dogs will be transported to a hospital for medical treatment.

Can police service dogs be used at public events and demonstrations?

Police service dogs may not be used at public events or demonstrations, except for crowd control where there is a life-threatening situation, such as a violent riot. In those situations, dogs will be used as a general deterrent to disorderly behavior. Officers will keep dogs on short leashes to maintain full control. Officers will prevent dogs from offensively biting, unless there is a need to prevent imminent loss of life or serious bodily injury.