The Burbank Police Department K-9 program began in 1980 with a one-dog team (handler and K-9) which was assigned to the Detective Bureau, supporting Patrol. The first dog was a dual-purpose K-9, meaning it was trained to find people and narcotics, and it cost the city a mere one hundred dollars to purchase. By 1981, a second dog team was added. That K-9 was also a dual-purpose dog, but the price for purchase had gone up to seven hundred fifty dollars. By 1986, the next wave of K-9’s had been purchased from Europe at the cost of approximately five thousand dollars each. These were single-purpose K-9’s assigned exclusively to Patrol. The Narcotics Bureau had their own single-purpose day by then. Since, 1998 the subsequent K-9’s have been dual-purpose dogs, assigned to Patrol but available to the Narcotics Bureau, as needed. The cost for purchase of these K-9’s has gone up considerably since 9/11.
Patrol K-9’s are chosen for their drive and endurance. They have to be strong hunters, and they have to be formidable fighters for their self defense and defense of the handler. The K-9’s are expected to find the suspects, the paraphernalia, and narcotics which the suspect may be concealing or have discarded. K-9’s are expected to find and hold their prey, and bite, if necessary. The are also expected to behave in a socially acceptable manner when attending community events.
We have only had one K-9 killed in the line of duty; Officer Bragdon’s partner, Dickie. That was a tragic day for the Burbank Police Department, as well as the community.
Currently, the Burbank Police Department has two K-9’s- Steevo is a 5 year old Dutch Shepherd who has been with the Department for approximately 2.5 years and Kimo a 2 year old Czech Shepherd who has been serving for approximately 1 year.