The objective of the Canine Unit is to provide a support service to the Peel Regional Police. The Canine Unit primarily offers assistance in the location of lost, missing or wanted persons. However, they also provide support in the detection of evidence, narcotics, firearms, explosive substances and human remains.
The Peel Regional Police Canine Unit was developed and introduced in 1974. Currently, there are 13 canine teams. Teams are comprised of one handler and one general purpose dog. The dogs are selected for their good health, temperament and trainability. The dogs are paired with a handler who has passed a rigorous selection process. Every handler is responsible for the care and maintenance of his canine partner.
To become a member of the unit, candidates must be a first class constable with 5 complete years of service and must pass strenuous physical fitness tests including the Ontario PIN test and a job specific physical fitness test. Additionally, candidates must pass an interview. Successful candidates and their dogs then enter a fourteen week General Service Police Dog Course which trains to all the core competencies required to be a canine handler.
The course teaches both the handler and the dog. They are taught obedience, agility, article search (property and evidence), area search, building search, handler protection and suspect apprehension. The Peel Regional Police primarily use German Shepherds for their teams. These dogs have proven to be the best suited for general service police dog work throughout the world.
When the team completes their training course they are assigned to general patrol work throughout the region responding to a variety of calls including lost or wanted persons, property searches, break and enters, stolen vehicles and any calls in which a suspect has or may flee from police. The Canine Unit also provides support to and works closely with the Tactical and Rescue Unit. After one year of general service work the team may be selected to specialize in the detection of narcotics, weapons, explosive substances or human remains.
Since its inception, the Canine Unit has been responsible for locating hundreds of wanted and missing persons, locating thousands of pieces of critical evidence including firearms. The Peel Regional Police Canine Unit is known throughout the province for its high standard of quality teams.