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K-9 Unit

The Tracy Police Department K9 Unit operates within the Field Operations Division, Patrol Unit.  The K9 Unit currently consists of four full-time K9 teams:

  • Officer D. Woods and Hondo
  • Officer  J. Evanoff and Thor
  • Officer L. Orvick and Zak
  • Officer P. Giusto and Ryker
  • Officer Y. Coss and Copper

The Police Department's dogs are purchased and maintained through a mix of public funds and generous private donations.  The Department appreciates and respects the work of our K9 partners and strives to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Frequently Asked Questions About K9

What type of work can the dogs do?        The following are examples of some of the most common uses of our dogs:  Apprehension of fleeing suspects, area and building searches for hiding suspects, tracking, evidence searches and drug detection.  Tracy PD’s dogs also perform numerous public demonstrations each year.  Occasionally, neighboring law enforcement agencies request the assistance of Tracy PD’s dogs.

Do the dogs wear bullet proof vests?
Tracy PD’s dogs have been provided ballistic vests, at no cost, through the Police and Working K9 Foundation’s “Cover Your K9” program.  Each dog has a ballistic vest for situations in which thereis likelihood the dog will encounter an armed suspect.

Where do the dogs live?
Due to the nature of their work and their reliance on each other, the handlers and dogs develop a very close bond.  When off-duty, each dog lives with his handler and their family.  The handler is responsible for the care of the dog.  When not at work, the dogs can be found relaxing around the house or enjoying their favorite hobby.
How long do the dogs work?
The dogs work until they begin showing signs they are ready to retire, generally around 8-8 ½ years of age.  After retirement, the dogs are sold to the handler and continue to live with the handler and their family.

Are the K9 vehicles equipped with any special equipment?
In addition to the standard air conditioning, each K9 vehicle is also equipped with additional fans to keep the dog comfortable.  Each K9 vehicle is also equipped with heat sensors that constantly monitor the temperature inside the vehicle.  If the interior temperature becomes warm, an alarm sounds and the remote pager worn by each handler is activated.
Where do Tracy PD’s dogs come from?
Currently, Tracy PD has both German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois dogs bred in both the United States and Europe.  Police dogs are often purchased from Europe for the following reasons:  Just as baseball is popular in the United States, dog sports are very popular in Europe.  As a result, there is a large supply of dogs in Europe that are suitable for police work.  Some of the genetic defects that are common in dogs in the United States are less common in dogs from Europe.  Prior to employment, the dogs are carefully evaluated for sociability, health and their suitability for police work.
Can I make a donation to the K9 Unit?
The K9 Unit gladly accepts tax deductible donations to support the program.  If you have any questions or wish to make a tax deductible donation to the K9 Unit, please email Sgt. Tony Matuska or call him at (209) 831-6644.

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