Utah (ABC4) – Many police departments use police dogs to help them do their job more efficiently and have measures in place to keep these animals safe when they need to be left in police vehicles.
The Salt Lake City Police Department has a K-9 unit with officers or handlers who bring these trained dogs with them throughout the day.
But what happens if handlers go on a call where the dogs aren’t needed or they are called to provide backup to another officer? Or maybe K-9 officers need to go somewhere that it is not appropriate to take a dog, such as a hospital waiting room.
“If an officer is out and about in the community, they’re not going to take the dog everywhere with them,” Detective Michael Ruff with the Salt Lake Police Department says.
Some K-9 transport vehicles are equipped with alarms to keep these working dogs safe if they need to be left in vehicles.
According to Ruff, every K-9 vehicle the Salt Lake City Police Department uses has a safety system in place that automatically monitors the temperature inside these vehicles. The system will cause windows to lower and turns on fans inside the vehicle if temperatures get too high.
The system will also set off audible alarms and alerts the handler when this happens. If a passersby notices the alarm on a police vehicle going off, they should call dispatch, though the holder is most likely already aware of the situation, Ruff tells ABC4.
Handlers will leave the trucks running to maintain a safe climate in the vehicle for the police dogs, he adds.
Kaysville Police Department has a K-9 unit as well. According to Officer Alexis Benson, the department doesn’t have heat alarms due to having older K9 vehicles.
However, she says handlers will leave the vehicle running with the air conditioning on while they are out. Handlers will also let the dogs out of the vehicle frequently and make sure they have enough water.