Meet 4 K-9 Officers & How They Keep Washington State Ferries Safe
These guys aren't just cute, but they also have a very important job to do every day!
Washington State K-9 Patrols & Ferry Safety
You may not have ever been on a ferry but most people who have lived in Washington State have ridden one at least once. If you have been on a ferry, you might not have even realized you were searched by one of the K-9 troopers patrolling the boats to keep them safe. Their senses are so strong they can identify explosives from far away, quickly identifying potential threats for human officers to search. You can rest knowing that every Washington State Ferry is being protected by the sharp nose and senses of K-9 officers trained to identify explosives.
Washington State K-9 Ferry Patrol Dogs Only Detect Explosives
These 4 K-9 groups were honored on the Washington State Patrol X (formally Twitter) account for National Dog Day. The 4 K-9 officer partners were not named in the post, but are part of a large group of officers keeping Washington's waterways safe. Every ferry in Washington State has Troopers walking among the passenger vehicles with K-9 patrol dogs. These dogs are ONLY trained to find explosives and are not expected to find other kinds of contraband like drugs. If a K-9 marks a vehicle for explosives, it is separated and searched by Washington State Troopers. If the vehicle refuses to be searched, they will be refused entry onto the ferry according to Federal law. The law states that "entry into a terminal and boarding a vessel are deemed valid consent to the screening or inspection of vehicles. Anyone who refuses a screening or inspection will not be allowed on board a ferry".
How to Act Around K-9 Patrol Dogs
The first thing to remember is they are police officers and not pets. DO NOT run up and try and pet the dogs even though they might look cute and cuddly. Troopers say that usually patrol dogs are friendly but make sure to ask before you try to touch them. They might be busy, so just act normal, relax when you see them walking around, and wait to ask an officer to pet them. They also want passengers to know that if they have a question about what they are doing, go ahead and approach a Trooper and ask. Just know that both the dogs and human Troopers are there to keep us all safe and they do that job every single day whether you notice or not.