WSR 03-03-091

PROPOSED RULES

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

TRAINING COMMISSION

[ Filed January 16, 2003, 2:14 p.m. ]

Continuance of WSR 02-12-027.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-08-015.

Title of Rule: WAC 139-05-915 Requirements of training for police dog handler.

Purpose: To update the WAC to the current training standards being offered to canine handlers and to set standards of minimum performance of canine teams prior to the team being used for law enforcement or corrections work.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.101.080.

Summary: Stakeholders were contacted by letter to advise of the intended rule amendments. Proposal also listed on the agency website.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Concerns about statewide consistency of training requirements.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Enforcement: Doug Blair, Burien, (206) 835-7311; and Implementation: Michael D. Parsons, Burien, (206) 835-7347.

Name of Proponent: Staff in conjunction with the Board on Law Enforcement Training Standards and Education (BLETSE) and canine subject matter experts, private and governmental.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: WAC will not be approved without requisite funding.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Training requirements have not been updated for some time.

Performance standards and recordkeeping needed to provide statewide consistency and credibility.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The rule proposed will provide clearer guidelines for requirements of training for police dog handlers and certification of canine teams.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Proposal is exempt under RCW 19.85.025(2); therefore, a small business economic impact statement is not required.

RCW 19.85.025(2), this chapter does not apply to a rule proposed for expedited adoption under RCW 34.05.230 (1) through (8), unless a written objection is timely filed with the agency and the objection is not withdrawn.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Criminal Justice Training Commission, 19010 1st Avenue South, Burien, WA 98148-2055, on March 12, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Sonja Hirsch by March 10, 2002 [2003], TDD (206) 835-7300.

Submit Written Comments to: Sharon M. Tolton, Criminal Justice Training Commission, 19010 1st Avenue South, Burien, WA 98148-2055, fax (206) 439-3860, by June [March] 11, 2002 [2003].

Date of Intended Adoption: March 12, 2003.

January 16, 2003

Sharon M. Tolton

Deputy Director

OTS-5540.3


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-17-017, filed 8/4/00, effective 9/4/00)

WAC 139-05-915   Requirements of training for ((police)) law enforcement and corrections dog handlers and certification of canine teams.   (1) Title and scope: These rules are intended to set minimum standards of performance for the certification of canine teams that are used for law enforcement or corrections purposes. This process is not related to nor does it have any effect upon the requirements for peace officer certification. Nothing in these rules is intended to limit the use of canine teams employed by other state or federal agencies for law enforcement purposes, or the use of volunteer canine teams where the handler is not a Washington peace officer or corrections officer.

(2) For purposes ((herein)) of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) "Dog handler" means any fully commissioned law enforcement officer or corrections officer of a state, county, city, municipality, or combination thereof, agency who is responsible for the routine care, control, and utilization of a police dog within a law enforcement ((patrol)) or ((investigative)) corrections assignment; and

(b) "Canine team" means a specific officer and a specific canine controlled by that officer in the capacity of handler, formally assigned by the employing agency to work together in the performance of law enforcement, or corrections duties.

(c) "Training" means any structured classroom or practical learning exercise conducted, evaluated, and documented by an experienced dog handler or trainer, ((for the purpose of developing)) certified as an instructor with recognized expertise on canine subjects associated with the development of the trainee's competency in the care, control, and utilization of a police dog.

(d) "Evaluator" means a certified peace officer or corrections officer, who has a minimum of three years experience as a canine handler and is recognized as a trainer of canines by a professional organization of police and/or corrections canine handlers/trainers or by the handler's employing agency. The trainer must have trained a canine team in accordance with the training requirements of WAC 139-05-915, or be recognized by the commission as a certified instructor with expertise in canine training of a specific police canine subject for the purpose of testing and certifying canine handlers and dogs to work as a canine team.

(((2))) (3) A dog handler shall, as a precondition of such assignment, successfully complete the basic law enforcement academy program, or basic correction officer academy or otherwise comply with the basic training requirement prescribed by WAC 139-05-200 and 139-05-210 of the training commission.

(((3))) (4) Prior to, or within the first six months of such assignment, a dog handler shall successfully complete training according to the nature and purpose of utilization of the police dog for which such handler is responsible. ((Categories of utilization and concomitant training standards are prescribed as follows:))

(a) ((Generalist.)) A dog handler who is responsible for the routine and regular utilization of a police dog within general patrol or investigative activities, shall successfully complete ((at least three hundred ninety)) a minimum of four hundred hours of training which shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) Philosophies/theories of police ((K-9)) canine;

(ii) Legal and liability aspects, including applicable department policies;

(iii) Public relations;

(iv) Care and maintenance;

(v) Obedience and control;

(vi) Tracking;

(vii) Trailing;

(viii) Area searching;

(ix) Building searching;

(x) Evidence searching;

(xi) Pursuit/holding; and

(xii) Master protection.

(b) ((General detection.)) A dog handler who is responsible for the primary and specialized utilization of a police dog in the search for and detection of specific substances, excluding explosives, shall successfully complete ((at least one hundred eighty)) a minimum of two hundred hours of training which shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) Philosophies/theories of police ((K-9)) canine;

(ii) Legal and liability aspects, including applicable department policies;

(iii) Public relations;

(iv) Care and maintenance;

(v) Obedience and control;

(vi) Area searching;

(vii) Building searching;

(viii) Evidence searching; and

(ix) Detection of specific substances.

(c) ((Explosives detection.)) A dog handler who is responsible for the primary and specialized utilization of a police dog in the search for and detection of explosive substances and devices, shall successfully complete ((at least three hundred ninety)) a minimum of two hundred hours of training which shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) Philosophies/theories of police ((K-9)) canine;

(ii) Legal and liability aspects, including applicable department policies;

(iii) Public relations;

(iv) Care and maintenance;

(v) Obedience and control;

(vi) Area searching;

(vii) Building searching;

(viii) Evidence searching; and

(iv) Detection of explosives.

(d) ((Master protection.)) A dog handler who is responsible for the routine and regular utilization of a police dog solely for self-protection and assistance in hostile or potentially hostile situations, shall successfully complete at least one hundred eighty hours of training which shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) Philosophies/theories of police ((K-9)) canine;

(ii) Legal and liability aspects, including applicable department policies;

(iii) Public relations;

(iv) Care and maintenance;

(v) Obedience and control;

(vi) Pursuit/holding; and

(vii) Master protection.

(5) The commission shall develop and adopt a minimum performance standard for canine teams performing specific law enforcement or corrections functions. It shall be the handler's responsibility to keep their canines under control at all times. Each handler must be able to make his/her canine perform to a level that is deemed acceptable by the commission in the category for the team's intended use as a condition of certification.

(6) Certification of canine teams:

(a) The handler and the canine will be considered as a team and it is the team who will be certified. If the canine changes handlers, a new team exists and the team will need to be certified.

(b) A dog handler may not use a canine for police purposes unless the handler is certified to handle a specific canine for a specific purpose.

(c) In evaluating the proficiency of the canine team, the evaluators shall use the standards approved by the commission for that particular skill category. Performance shall be rated on a pass/fail basis. The evaluator shall have the discretion to discontinue the testing if excessive time has been spent without results, or if there is a concern about safety issues involving the canine, handler, or equipment.

(d) The commission shall certify a canine team who can successfully show proficiency, under scrutiny of a canine evaluator, in one or more of the following areas of patrol and investigation/or detection.

(i) Patrol and investigation:

(A) Obedience;

(B) Protection and control;

(C) Area search;

(D) Building search; and

(E) Tracking.

(ii) Detection:

(A) Buildings;

(B) Vehicles;

(C) Exterior search;

(D) Obedience; and

(E) Building search.

(iii) Expiration of certification: Each certification issued pursuant to these rules shall remain valid as long as the canine team does not change. A canine team's certification shall lapse if the specific handler and canine originally paired at the time of certification, cease to perform canine team functions together. It is recommended that teams recertify on an annual basis.

(iv) Failure to pass certification: If the canine team fails any phase of an evaluation, he/she must be reevaluated in that particular phase.

(v) Appeal: Any handler who believes there have been improper procedures applied in the testing process, may file an appeal with the commission in writing. This appeal must be filed within thirty days of the testing date pursuant to WAC 139-03-020.

(7) Agency required to keep records:

(a) Each agency shall keep training and performance records on canines. The records must stay with the agency responsible for the canine team. The records shall be made available for review in the event that the canine is sold or transferred to another agency. The records shall include, at a minimum, but not be limited to:

(i) Microchip number;

(ii) Canine's name;

(iii) Breed;

(iv) Training received;

(v) Certification date;

(vi) Date acquired or purchased;

(vii) Source from which the canine was acquired;

(viii) Purpose, use, or assignment of canine;

(ix) Handler's name;

(x) The date and reason canine was released from service; and

(xi) Copies of all incident reports in which use of the canine resulted in use of force.

(b) These records shall be retained for a period of one year from the date the canine is removed from active service unless a longer retention is required by statute or local ordinance.

(c) It shall be the responsibility of the handler to advise his/her employing agency of the fact that he/she has met the standards for canine certification. The proof of certification with the evaluator's signature along with a request for canine certification shall be submitted to the commission by the employing agency. This shall be considered as a request for certification. Upon verification that the minimum requirements have been met, the commission shall issue a certificate of certification to the canine team.

(8) Canine recommended to be microchipped:

(a) It is recommended that a canine intended to be used by a law enforcement or corrections agency, be positively identified by having a microchip inserted in the canine. Any canine that is sold by a vendor to a Washington state governmental agency for use as a law enforcement or corrections canine should be able to be identified by microchip placed in the canine at the vendor's expense prior to the canine being sold to the law enforcement or corrections agency.

(b) Once the microchip has been inserted, it is recommended that it not be removed except for medical necessity. If it becomes necessary to remove the microchip, the reason for the removal must be documented and entered into the dog's training records, and a new microchip inserted if medically appropriate.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.101.080. 00-17-017, 139-05-915, filed 8/4/00, effective 9/4/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.101.080(2). 86-19-021 (Order 1-B), 139-05-915, filed 9/10/86.]

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