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K9 Unit


  The Vanderbilt University Police Department formed a dedicated K-9 Unit in June 2007.  These valued members of our unit play a vital role in keeping our community safe by performing bomb sweeps, narcotic detection and community outreach.

Vanderbilt University Police Departments K-9 Unit consists of single purpose explosive detection canines, single purpose narcotic detection canines and community engagement canine teams. All detector dog teams are certified annually with the United States Police Canine Association.  Initial detector canine training is under the supervision of a United States Police Canine certified trainer provided by the Metro Nashville Police K-9 section, with a minimum of forty days initial training. Canine detector teams must maintain 16 hours minimum monthly team maintenance training. Detector canine teams re-certify yearly with the United States Police Canine Association to demonstrate team proficiency as set forth by the USPCA. Explosive detection canine teams also must pass a yearly U.S. ATF National Odor Recognition Examination to maintain eligibility for USPCA certification.

The explosive detector canine teams provide pre-event sweeps prior to any event deemed necessary by the university and/or VUPD. Explosive detector canine teams respond to suspicious packages/vehicles as well as any bomb threat located within Vanderbilt University. Explosive detection teams provide mutual aid assistance as needed to Metro Nashville Police Department and/surrounding agencies on a pre-planned or emergency mutual aid-request basis.

Narcotic detector canine teams patrol Vanderbilt University Medical Center and assist with the detection and seizure of illicit narcotics within medical center adult enterprise as well as provide a deterrent to illegal activity.

All canine teams are members of the Special Operations Unit of Vanderbilt University Police Department and report to the Lieutenant of K-9 Operations Jason Bates

Vanderbilt University Police Departments canine unit augment patrol operations across VUMC and central campus precincts as well as the special events unit.

K-9 Unit

Explosive Detection Canine Teams

Narcotic Detection Canine Teams

Community Canine Teams 


K-9 Officer Gauge (Retired) 2007-2017

with his handler Lt. Jason Bates

Lt Bates and Retired K-9 Officer Gauge

K-9 Officer Kojack (Retired) 2007-2013

k-9 Officer Kojack Retired