June 14, 2012
Final Research Paper
Man’s Best Friend: Dogs or Technology
A few years ago I had the opportunity to job shadow a canine (k9) officer while he was participating in routine training with his dog. Little did I know, “routine training” meant all police canine officers in Salt Lake County, Utah County, and Davis County would assemble at an abandoned building and practice multiple real life scenarios. As I stood and watched in awe all night, I witnessed a few unsettling scenarios. First, I witnessed dog being released on command to attack a person acting as a criminal. The attack wasn’t the unsettling part about the scenario. What ...view middle of the document...
It’s safe to say that many of these tools are a necessity to the officer. There is one tool that is most often over looked, underrated, disrespected, and misconstrued. This tool is the canine and is a great asset to any patrol unit. The canine has helped man from the beginning of time and can be dated as far back as 20,000 years ago (Mesloh 324). In today’s society, what is the effectiveness of police canines in law enforcement, and could they eventually become obsolete or ineffective due to the advancement of technology? These questions hold significant value to those who are considering a career in law enforcement with hopes of becoming a K9 handler. There is a possibility that someday dogs may become obsolete due to technology.
Police K9s get their name because of their protruding sharp teeth located next to the incisor teeth. K9s and humans have been together for the last 20,000 years (Mesloh 324). Research shows that wolves were the first domesticated k9 to assist humans in hunting for food (324). Not only have they assisted in hunting but they were also used to protect their masters (324). Although common dogs are sometimes referred to as canines deriving from the same species, a police K9 is much different from the family pet because of the intense training they must undergo. The keen sense of smell that a K9 possesses is what police attune to their work, placing the dogs in a variety of functions and working tasks. A K9 has such an acute sense of smell that they will most frequently detect substances that are no longer present such as narcotics, guns, and bombs (Green 38). It has been said that dogs are “man’s best friend”; they have become a loyal and dependable asset for police in the detainment and arrest process of suspects, providing effective protection and safety to officers in the line of duty.
In an article titled, "Canine Detectives: The Nose Knows--or Does it?" the author argues that the use of canines in finding or detecting objects by scent is becoming obsolete. He then goes on to claim that the use of canines in court is no longer as valid as it used to be. Canines have been used as strong pieces of evidence in court, with little or no scientific evidence supporting their validity, for a very long time (“Canine Detectives” 1). However, as of late, the canine’s nose and intelligence are being questioned more often. The lack of evidence that canines are just as useful and reliable as they once were is slowly becoming a major problem. Those that strongly believe in the use of canine techniques are concerned with the direction that searching by scent is heading (“Canine Detectives” 1). With technology advancing at an incredible rate, many people think that technology is the only answer to many of their problems. This means that more evidence is required in the courtroom. However, while many people are claiming a dog’s nose is not a reliable source in the courtroom, several doctors and professors are using canines’ olfactory...