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Security Jobs in Hospitals: How Hospitals Use K9s to Prevent Violence

Published August 14th, 2023 by 3DK9 LLC

Dogs are great in a hospital setting. They boost morale among hospital staff, help patients cope with their struggles, and generally bring a positive vibe wherever they go. However, did you know that dogs can also be utilized for security jobs in hospitals to keep everyone safe? 

When people normally think of hospital security, they may picture security guards trained to prevent violence. K9 units help with those operations and improve your security's ability to catch drug addicts and other dangerous individuals. 

Here's how K9 units are useful in preventing violence in a hospital setting. 

What Are K9 Units?

The term "K9" is derived from the word "canine" and represents dogs trained to assist police and other law enforcement officials.

Two of the most common areas you'll see K9 units are at schools and airports when searching for drugs or firearms. However, there are also some units trained to chase and take down violent and armed offenders. 

All K9 units are accompanied by a law enforcement officer who is trained to handle them and give orders. They may be used in either the public or private sectors, so you may also see security guards with trained dogs. 

Some of the best dog breeds for K9 units include the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhound, and Rottweiler. However, it all depends on the dog's individual temperament and the type of training it receives. 

Types of K9 Units

There are many types of K9 units and responsibilities they can take on. The two main ones are police dogs and military dogs. 

Police dogs can assist with sniffing out prohibited items and chasing down criminals. A trained sniffer dog is able to detect drugs, explosives, and even missing people. Some specialization in areas like narcotics or apprehension/search. 

Military dogs more specifically detect explosives and mines. They may also be used for scouting and delivering messages. 

Why Give Security Jobs in Hospitals to Dogs

Utilizing K9 dogs in a hospital setting provides many benefits to its overall security. They serve as a deterrent for criminal behavior, can sniff out drugs and guns, and improve security attentiveness:

Crime Deterrent 

The first reason to utilize K9 units is as a crime deterrent. People may be naturally wary of police dogs, as they are trained to attack on command. While a K9 unit isn't allowed to bite unless it is absolutely necessary or when chasing a fleeing felony suspect, they still serve a purpose. 

On top of that, K9 patrol units have the capacity to deal with different situations appropriately. This is especially important in a hospital setting where patients have to be treated with a firm but gentle hand. 

Sniff Out Illegal Items

Where K9 units really shine is their ability to sniff out specific items that people may have tucked away in their bags or on their person. Some of the more common threats are firearms and illegal drugs. 

At hospitals with K9 units, people are usually greeted at the front doors by sniffer dogs. That way, potential threats won't make it into the building and up to the more vulnerable areas of the hospital. 

Some hospitals are also utilizing sniffer dogs to find strains of bacteria to prevent infection. 

Security Awareness

K9 teams are actually more effective than standalone security guards. In fact, a single patrol dog can do the job of three average security guards. 

Not only can dogs detect drug paraphernalia much more efficiently than humans, but they can do so from a much further distance. On top of that, they can hear break-ins from farther away and reach intruders quicker. 

Guard dogs benefit the security officers, as well. It would be easy for a security officer to grow lax throughout a long shift. However, a guard dog forces them to stay on their toes so they can read whatever cues their K9 unit puts out. 

Considerations When Utilizing K9 Jobs

There are some factors to consider before investing in K9 units for security purposes, though. 

To begin with, K9 units are not always an affordable option. A dog trained to patrol and sniff out narcotics costs thousands of dollars. That doesn't include the handler and any other associated expenses. 

If you want to hire a K9 unit, then you need to take that into consideration when hiring security. They can do the job of multiple security officers, so it may be worth it to move money around to cut costs. 

In addition, using patrol dogs may cause issues for those with pet allergies. This is most problematic if your employees work in the lobby area alongside them. It's also something that can cause issues with your patients. 

Finally, there's the issue of dog bites. While K9 units are not authorized to use force unless it is absolutely necessary, certain behaviors from patients or visitors may trigger the dog to react. 

Bites from police K9s can cause severe injuries, and it can be hard for victims to receive compensation for an unwarranted dog attack. It's something to consider when assessing your hospital's risk and compliance. 

Preventing Violence in a Medical Setting

Dogs with security jobs in hospitals can help improve your building's overall safety and improve the care you can provide for your patients. As long as you utilize a reputable service provider that knows how to train and handle their dogs, you won't run into any problems. In fact, they'll likely find holes in your security that you never even considered. 

3DK9 is an agency that provides dog detection services to keep dangerous weapons and narcotics out of your premises. Our dogs serve the entire United States, so there's no need to find something closer to home. Contact us to talk to a trained representative today. 

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