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k9_longThe Venice Police Department K-9 Unit is comprised of Officer Kristen Kimson with Mako. Mako is a German shepherd imported from Europe.

The team assists the Patrol Division’s activities by responding to incidents requiring the unique abilities of the K-9 teams. Their search training takes place in open spaces and inside buildings.

K9 Officer Kimson and Abram

These are not just animals to the officers who handle them, but work partners and companions. The dogs must know when to be aggressive on the job and when to be docile.

They are taught to detect illegal narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. They are also trained to protect their handler, to track and help apprehend suspects fleeing from police or harming others, and to search for missing people.

The team receives approximately 500 hours of training prior to going into service and is certified annually by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, United States Police Canine Association, and the National Police Canine Association.