Many K-9 teams go on regular patrol with their partners. Even while on patrol, they are always prepared to be called on for assistance by other officers, and sometimes even other surrounding communities. Many K9 Units may patrol the areas of high crime and be implemented in a select enforcement program, to deter and combat serious crime.
Police K-9 provide a resource to patrol officers and investigators to assist in the detection and arrest of suspected criminals, and to locate contraband, evidence and lost or missing persons. The K-9 Unit also provides a unique psychological deterrent to violence.
A number of years ago, the Yarmouth Massachusetts Police Department started their unit with three K9 teams. During the first year, the unit worked hard in reducing the number of break-ins in their business sectors. At the end of the first year of having the K9 unit, the rate of break-ins decreased by 80%.