The Mount Pleasant Police Department canine program was established in 2006 to supplement police operations by locating illegal narcotics. Because of a superior sense of smell and hearing and potential aggressiveness, the trained law enforcement canine is a valuable supplement to law enforcement manpower.
Before being selected for the K-9 unit, each canine is thoroughly tested to determine its natural prey drive, play desire, courage, and socialization. The best age for training is one to two years old. The handlers assist in the selection of the dog so that the officer can better form a strong bond with the animal. One of the most difficult facets of the handler's training is learning to understand what the dog is trying to communicate to the handler through body language. Complete control of the dog by the handler is a must. Dogs use their sense of smell for searches and are able to cover a larger area much faster and more efficiently than a team of officers. The training of the dogs is an on-going process that continues as long as the dog is a working member of the unit.