In constantly striving to combat crime and criminal activity, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office employs the use of police service dogs to aid in the detection of criminals and criminal activity. The Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit, a part of the Technical Services Division, consist of 9 teams with various training and responsibilities. The unit is made up of patrol/narcotics., patrol/explosive, Bloodhound, German Shepard, and Belgium Malinos. K-9 teams are assigned various shifts to allow for maximum coverage. Duties of the patrol dog teams include responding to felonies in progress, patrolling high crime areas, and responding as backups on dangerous calls. Patrol dog teams also work in cooperation with the Tactical Unit on high risk warrants and perimeter control during tactical operations. They also work in support of Homeland Security.
Narcotics detector teams are utilized in assisting the West Alabama Narcotics Squad and in assisting officers on drug interdiction stops and have been responsible for seizing hundreds of pounds of illegal narcotics. Narcotics teams are also utilized by the public schools to continue in the fight against drugs by helping to deter drug activity from our school system. Our explosive detector dog teams are constantly on call to serve the community against bomb threats and the threat of terrorist type activity. They have been requested numerous times by outside agencies for their assistance.
The K-9 Unit is headed by Sgt. Alex Miles who is the unit coordinator and trainer. All teams are trained to the standards set forth by the Landespolizeischule for Diensthundfhrer (State Police School for Service Dog Handlers) in Stukenbrock, Germany. The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office keeps a close watch on current trends in training and constantly strives to maintain the proficiency of the K-9 Unit at a level of excellence.
"It is much safer sending a dog under a house to check for an armed suspect, than sending an officer." - Chief. Eric Bailey