The Alameda Police Department K9 Program was established in 1980 and due to its success it was permanently implemented into the Patrol Division. Currently, the Department has two K9 teams, Officer Brandon Hansen and his Police Service Dog (PSD) "Blu" and Officer Armando Zaragoza and his PSD "Dexter". The K9 Supervisor is Sgt. Darin Tsujimoto.
K-9 teams are certified for dual purpose work, which includes patrol tactics and narcotic detection. Patrol tactics consist of area searches, building searches, tracking, article searches, handler protection, and physical apprehension. Narcotic detection includes searching for illegal drugs. Police K9's are not pets and should only be approached while the handler is present and supervising any interaction with the PSD.
Before the PSD and officer can begin their patrol assignments, they must go through a rigorous canine handler course and pass a certification process. This ensures they meet the requirements set forth by the California P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training). After the team is certified, they will then complete weekly training sessions and annual certifications to ensure the team maintains their skills.
Officer Hansen and PSD Blu, a German Shepherd from Bavaria in Germany, were partnered in Spring of 2019. After a bonding and orientation period, the two entered their canine handler course. They completed the course in June of 2019 and were assigned to swing shift patrol. Both are dedicated to service and they are looking forward to many years of working together.
Officer Zaragoza and PSD Dexter, a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois from Hungary, are the newest members of the Alameda Police K9 Unit and hit the streets together on October 2nd, 2016. They have established a tight bond and have been a great asset to the community.