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Homeland Security · Canine Training Unit

The department’s Canine Training Unit began with the training and deployment of two explosive detection teams on October 8, 1997. These first two dogs, the training, and equipment were purchased with a grant from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide coverage and security for the Washington State Ferry System (terminals and ferries) and other transportation-related premises. While DOT sites have remained the first priority for the explosive dogs, their role has significantly expanded. In addition to sweeps at local schools and businesses, the teams have also conducted evidence searches for local agencies, assisted the Executive Protection Unit and the United States Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A third explosive detection team was deployed on July 15, 1999, to provide coverage for the Capitol Campus.

On November 9, 1998, three narcotic detection teams were deployed to counties identified by High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in the central Puget Sound region and Yakima. Canine UnitThe training and equipment were purchased with a federal grant secured from HIDTA. With a high success rate and a continuation of the HIDTA grant, eight additional narcotic detection teams were added to Washington’s remaining HIDTA counties. The narcotic teams provide support for the field force, local task forces, and federal agencies on multi-jurisdictional warrants. HIDTA continues to provide funding for training and equipment.

The Washington State Patrol Canine Training Unit is made up of four full-time and three part-time canine instructors and is the only full-time training facility in Washington. To date there have been five narcotics detection and six explosives detection training sessions. Each narcotics detection course includes 220 hours of specialized training. An explosives detection course consists of 420 hours of specialized training.

Contact Information

Homeland Security Division
C/O USCG Pier 36, Building #7
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 389-2728 Phone
(206) 389-2730 Fax


Quick Links

Canine and Trooper on Ferry Patrol