The Somerset County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit was formed in August 2002 by Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano. It takes an active part in reaching out to the community that supports it.
The handlers and canines in the K-9 Unit must attend and graduate an intensive 16 week training academy to become certified. All of the units canines have to be re-certified at a minimum of twice a year. The canines live with their respective handlers and each handler has a specialized departmental vehicle which gives the canines all of the needed necessities to be transported all day.
The K-9 Unit is a valuable resource to all police agencies throughout Somerset County and currently has 1 narcotic detection canine, 1 explosive detection canine and 1 tracking canine.
The narcotic canine assists police agencies in recovering marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, methamphetamines and narcotic scented U.S. Currency. The narcotic canine is used to sniff the exterior and interior of motor vehicles, houses, boats, fields, airplanes, jail cells and anywhere else it is deemed possible that narcotics might be being stored.
The tracking canine assists police agencies in recovering missing persons. This is extremely helpful when a child or elderly person is lost, missing or has walked off.
The explosive detection canine assists police agencies in detecting and locating an explosive device present in a building, motor vehicle, boat, airplane or anywhere else it is deemed possible that an explosive device might be. The explosive detection canine is also part of the New Jersey State Police Explosives and Detection Render Safe Task Force which responds to bomb threats all over the State of New Jersey.