Canine Program

South Gate Police has one of the longest-running K-9 programs in Southeast Los Angeles County. Our 1st service dogs, Tony and Derby joined the department in 1981. Since then there have been 12 K-9’s working the streets of South Gate.

Program Benefits
Police dogs are one of the most effective and diverse tools used in policing. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and hearing, making them a valuable partner to a police officer. A police dog will respond to noise from much further away than a human. Their speed allows them to overtake a person running. Besides being terrific companions, they save time for our officers, reduce the number of officers needed for a search, perform more thorough searches, and help keep our officers and the community safe during the apprehension of dangerous criminals. K-9 teams generally work during the night-time hours. This allows the greatest effectiveness since most building searches, alarms, burglaries, etc. occur during this shift.

The K-9 teams also attend numerous civilian functions each year including school visits, local civic groups, and public education programs. During their time off, the K-9’s enjoy resting at their home, playing, and preparing for their next shift.

Our K-9’s are purchased when they are about 3 years old. We currently have a Belgian Malinois’ and a German Shepherd. We have imported all of our dogs from Europe (Germany, Holland, Slovakia), because of strict breeding and training standards.

Currently the South Gate Police Department has 2 K-9 teams. Detective Hugar and Fester, a Belgian Malinois, have been working as a narcotics detecting team since 2008. Fester came to us from the Czech Republic. Officer Vega and Endo, been working as a patrol team since 2013. Endo came to us from Germany.

Searching and detection work make up most K-9 deployments. A K-9 team goes to work only after successfully completing 160-hours of basic training and narcotic detection training. If you have any questions about you can contact Lieutenant Patino at 323-563-5457.