The Keizer Police Department has two K9 teams. Each team consists of an officer (handler) and a service dog (K9). In addition to their specialized training, each team is responsible for general patrol activities and functions the same as patrol officers. The teams work night shifts because that is where the greater needs is for their skills. Teams are required to obtain initial certification, re-certify annually with the Oregon Police Canine Association (OPCA), and receive weekly training to maintain proficiency.
The K9 Unit offers their services to neighboring communities for calls and assistance, such as the Salem Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with inter-agency agreements. They also visit local schools and organizations and participate in community events to give presentations to educate the public about our K9 program.
Officer Stephen Richardson and K9 Buster have been paired in 2012 when Buster joined the agency as a 4 ½ year old. Officer Richardson is a seasoned officer with over 10 years as a handler and he is a certified OPCA trainer. Buster is a Malinois trained in both field work and narcotics detection. He is unique to our department in that he is the first dual trained service dog we’ve had.
Bruno is a German shepherd dog that was 19 months old when purchased in May 2014. In June of that year, Bruno and Officer Keniston completed 240 hours of training with the OPCA to become certified for working on the streets. Bruno’s patrol duties include tracking and trailing, building and area searches, discarded article searches, suspect apprehension, and officer protection.
Sgt Jeff Goodman is the supervisor of the K9 Unit. Click here to reach him by e-mail.