The Canine Unit is a full time unit assigned to the Uniform Services Division. Each canine handler is required to attend a 10 week academy at the Illinois State Police Canine Training Center. Each handler and canine are then certified as a canine team upon completion of the academy and re-qualifies in each area they are trained in every six months. Each canine team is mandated by law to train at least 16 hours per month as a minimum standard to maintain the team's proficiency.
The patrol canine is considered a dual purpose canine and is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, area searches, building searches, article searches as well as apprehension work. Deputy Metzler with his canine Cliff and Sr. Deputy Pearson and his canine Chico are used to assist various units within the department for narcotics detection, tracking of criminals as well as missing persons, search buildings for suspects and in the apprehension of non-compliant suspects. They are also used in search warrants for narcotics, school searches, and demonstrations for the public in all areas of their job duties. Our Canine Unit will responde to any are of the county as well as bordering counties if requested by an agency.