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Average time from patrolman to K9 Handler

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  • Average time from patrolman to K9 Handler

    Hello,
    I am in the Air Force as a Military cop and soon to be a dog handler with the goal of getting out and being an officer on the civilian side. from what I have researched in the bay area the average wait time is up to 15 years on the job (San Francisco). I understand that it all depends on the size of department and money situation at that time. What can help boost the potential of an officer who wants to pick up a dog?

  • #2
    You have to prove yourself as a good officer in patrol first. After four or five years, officers on my department who were interested in K9s started showing their interest by working with those already assigned during training days. They learned how to be agitators and studied up on the whole program. When interviews were conducted, sometimes guys with only 5-6 years got the spot(s) and other times it was officers with 10-15 years of experience.

    Bottom line: Don't enter the law enforcement profession in the belief that you will quickly or even eventually get that "dream assignment." There's a lot of good details on most departments and you should never discount the other possibilities that come up during your career. Striving for a goal(s) is one thing, but don't make K9 the only thing you want or you'll become very disappointed and bitter.
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Defender06 View Post
      Hello,
      I am in the Air Force as a Military cop and soon to be a dog handler with the goal of getting out and being an officer on the civilian side. from what I have researched in the bay area the average wait time is up to 15 years on the job (San Francisco). I understand that it all depends on the size of department and money situation at that time. What can help boost the potential of an officer who wants to pick up a dog?
      Its around 10-15 years for us and LAPD as well......

      You MIGHT be able to get a dog a little earlier if you wanted to get a narco or bomb dog.....

      Being a handler in the military WONT help you get into a handler spot earlier for us......as Pullicords said, you have to prove yourself at several other levels before you can even APPLY for one of the spots......
      The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

      "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

      "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Defender06 View Post
        Hello,
        I am in the Air Force as a Military cop and soon to be a dog handler with the goal of getting out and being an officer on the civilian side. from what I have researched in the bay area the average wait time is up to 15 years on the job (San Francisco). I understand that it all depends on the size of department and money situation at that time. What can help boost the potential of an officer who wants to pick up a dog?
        Took me 6 years to get my K9 position. The above posters are correct..."quarrying" with current handlers is a great way to gain experience and show the brass that your interested goes beyond having the K9 on the side of your car and the pay increase.

        Wait time will really depend on the individual department. Bigger departments will take longer due to deeper pool of officer's vs. a smaller agency.

        Bottom line, having goals outside of patrol is good. After being on the road for 6 years, I was ready for a change but didn't want to sit behind a desk. Narcotics Detector Dog work always interested me and I feel fortunate to have gotten the position when I did.

        Comment


        • #5
          Come to the east coast and you can be a handler in a year or two at the most. 10 - 15 years is insane. I would hope you would be a LT or CPT by then. Thats the average time it takes here on the east to obtain that rank.
          NCSHP
          APPLICATION SUBMITTED OCT 2007
          PHYSICAL AGILITY AND WRITTEN 156 T-SCORE
          POLYGRAPH PASSED
          BACKROUND COMPLETED
          REVIEW BOARD NO GO
          CONDITIONAL OFFER
          PHYSICAL
          PSYCHOLOGICAL
          ACCEPTANCE LETTER
          ACADEMY DATE NOV 12 2008

          ---------------------------------------------------
          SUCCESS IS EARNED NOT GIVEN
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by district6 View Post
            Come to the east coast and you can be a handler in a year or two at the most. 10 - 15 years is insane. I would hope you would be a LT or CPT by then. Thats the average time it takes here on the east to obtain that rank.
            For us, Captain (which is a station or bureau commander) is the equivilent of a Chief of Police for a small to medium sized agency.....

            You have to remember,,,,we have almost 10,000 sworn on LASD.....LAPD has around the same amount......

            You wont even hit PATROL for 2-3 years with us.....2 more years before most can even be considered for a FTO spot.....
            The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

            "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

            "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by district6 View Post
              Come to the east coast and you can be a handler in a year or two at the most. 10 - 15 years is insane.
              "A year or two at the most?" Wow, that's pretty good! Get off probation and get a K9 assignment! Must not be too much to learn about police work there, or else maybe officers on the West Coast are a little dense? BTW, is that academy date you have for entry level or chief?
              "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

              Comment


              • #8
                Not trying to be insulting, but how can you even be a good beat officer with only 1-2 years on let alone a specialty assignment like canine where you will be involved in many hot calls. We dont even pass probation until 18 months. Even a great patrol officer is still going to need some seasoning and experience that 1-2 years (even in a high volume area) is not going to give you. Our department has had some K9 handlers get their spots after about 4-5 years on. A lot will depend on your agency and you. Most of our handlers have done exactly what the others have said..... get out there and train with the current handlers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by district6 View Post
                  Come to the east coast and you can be a handler in a year or two at the most. 10 - 15 years is insane. I would hope you would be a LT or CPT by then. Thats the average time it takes here on the east to obtain that rank.
                  You probably need to ask another cop and get a second opinion on that, or maybe wait until you are one the job before you tell us all how it works.
                  Originally posted by FJDave
                  GM, you have just set the bar that much higher for the rest of us in our witty, sarcastic responses. I yield to you! Good job, kind Sir!

                  District B13
                  "We are not cops nor Feds." yet he still poses as an officer Hmmmm


                  Grant us grace, fearlessly, to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression.--WWII memorial

                  "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

                  Pope Gregory V II

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                  • #10
                    I say, here, it depends. You do your 2 yrs probation, and then when/if a position opens up, you can apply.

                    You might get it, you might not. But I'd say roughly 2 - 5 years total between patrol to any specialized unit, depending on the opening and the amount of applicants, and the size of the agency.

                    As others said, it COULD take up to 10 or so years to get a spot. But, you might get lucky and get one early, after coming off probation with satisfactory results.

                    I've been here for 2 years and already considered for Bike Patrol (not much, but hey, it's something!).
                    Last edited by jchughes05; 08-12-2008, 11:32 AM.
                    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                    I Am the Sheepdog.


                    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                    that we are all that stands between
                    the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by district6 View Post
                      Come to the east coast and you can be a handler in a year or two at the most. 10 - 15 years is insane. I would hope you would be a LT or CPT by then. Thats the average time it takes here on the east to obtain that rank.
                      YOU BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH GARBAGE MAN.........K-9 ADVICE FROM A POLICE APPLICANT?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I spent 5 years in a police department here and seen a few of my buddies get the k-9 job shortly after their probation. I went with the traffic division after 2 years of patrol. The department I worked for only had a little over 150 officers wich is probably a shift in LAPD. I dont make the rules. Our probation period in NC is 12 months. Take the time to research the departments in NC and you will see on the department sites that 1 to 2 years is all you have to do before assignment to a specialized division. Im just giving him some advice as to where to go without doing 10 years to become a k-9 handler. He is already located in the east so why go west and wait.
                        NCSHP
                        APPLICATION SUBMITTED OCT 2007
                        PHYSICAL AGILITY AND WRITTEN 156 T-SCORE
                        POLYGRAPH PASSED
                        BACKROUND COMPLETED
                        REVIEW BOARD NO GO
                        CONDITIONAL OFFER
                        PHYSICAL
                        PSYCHOLOGICAL
                        ACCEPTANCE LETTER
                        ACADEMY DATE NOV 12 2008

                        ---------------------------------------------------
                        SUCCESS IS EARNED NOT GIVEN
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For some reason everyone wants to come to the west coast, me my friend, I'm trying to head east.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WPD954 View Post
                            For some reason everyone wants to come to the west coast, me my friend, I'm trying to head east.
                            I came west from the east. After I finish my career, I'm gonna go east from the west.

                            Having been in both places, I can verify it's true that the requirements in the east are a lot less stringent than they are in the west.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=LA Copper;1369272] After I finish my career, I'm gonna go east from the west.

                              I spoke to a retired west coast police officer the other day and he is living like a king on the money he made out west. You did the right thing going west to make the income to secure your retirement. The pay is getting a little better here but its still way less than you make out west.
                              NCSHP
                              APPLICATION SUBMITTED OCT 2007
                              PHYSICAL AGILITY AND WRITTEN 156 T-SCORE
                              POLYGRAPH PASSED
                              BACKROUND COMPLETED
                              REVIEW BOARD NO GO
                              CONDITIONAL OFFER
                              PHYSICAL
                              PSYCHOLOGICAL
                              ACCEPTANCE LETTER
                              ACADEMY DATE NOV 12 2008

                              ---------------------------------------------------
                              SUCCESS IS EARNED NOT GIVEN
                              sigpic

                              Comment

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