The Brighton Police Department’s K9 unit was officially established in 2018. In August 2018, the Brighton Police Department purchased K9 Zorro. Zorro originally came from Arkansas. K9 Zorro is a two year old Belgian Malinois and a dual-purpose dog. Sergeant Max was given the opportunity to become the K9 handler in September 2018. This would make them the first K9 unit in history of the Brighton Police Department. On October 30, 2018, Sergeant Max attended training at the West Memphis Police Department to complete a 14 week Basic Canine Training Course and received his certification through AWD, American Working Dog Association. The course consisted of canine obedience, area searches, techniques for apprehension and patrol. K9 Zorro is also trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, crack, meth, ecstasy, and heroin.
Sergeant Max and Zorro are assigned a specially equipped vehicle that allows him to transport his K9 partner. The K9 unit is on call 24 hours / 7 days a week. K9 Zorro lives at home with Officer Max and his family. Officer Max is responsible for feeding, grooming and the general care of the K9. The average service life for a K9 is about 7 years.
The K9 unit is used in a variety of situations. These situations consist of vehicle searches, school searches, private residence searches, businesses searches, officer protection, evidence search and recovery, crowd control, and public demonstrations. The K9's extraordinary sense of smell has become one of the most effective tools in police work. The K9's are able to search an area and secure an area quicker and more efficiently.