K9 Vehicle Transport Systems | Primary & Secondary

K9 Vehicle Transport Systems

Discussion in 'K9's' started by pierson2214, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. pierson2214

    pierson2214 Newbie

    I've been tasked with searching for a K9 vehicle transport system for a 2012 Chevy Tahoe or 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility. It must have a prisoner transport divider or be a rear cargo area system since I work in a small department and must be able to transport my prisoner(s). Also, the dog we get will be narc detection only so no need for fast deployment. I've searched Havis, Ray Allen, Elite K9, and Setina and all seem great but, fairly expensive. A couple of other departments in our area, made their own for the rear cargo area of their Tahoes and that seemed to be fairly cost effective. I was just curious on what everyone else is using and what works well.
     
  2. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Amateur

    We have all major brands between all the handlers in our training group. American Aluminum seems to lead the pack in the PUV's
     
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  3. KCBRUIN

    KCBRUIN Newbie

    We've had two Havis units for the last 4 years, and are switching to Ray Allen. The Havis cages in our PIU's are garbage and we'll never buy another. For us it was between Ray Allen and American Aluminum for our new cages. Reviews from the rest of our K9 group on the Havis all agreed with our assessment that they are garbage. The group seemed to be split on Ray Allen and AA.
     
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  4. jBravo3

    jBravo3 Newbie

    I don't have any specific recommendation on a brand, just a couple of other notes. All these points may seem obvious, but, if you are gonna have a dual use prisoner/K9 transport system, I would recommend having the dog behind the driver's seat and the bad guy over on the right. Not only does this setup improve officer safety (increased visibility of cuffed subject and he/she isn't directly behind you), but having quick access to the dog is nice and you avoid the inevitable pain in the ass of having to walk to the other side of your vehicle 20 times per shift (I know you said narc only and rapid deployment wasn't an issue, but depending on your ops tempo, trust me on this). The only argument against this setup I've ever heard is that the dog would jump right out into traffic when the door opens, but the dog should be on lead before he gets out and it should be safe for him to get out anyway, so seems like a non issue to me. Also, there MUST be no way-it must be IMPOSSIBLE-for the prisoner or whoever you are transporting to slip your dog something from inside the vehicle. You don't want your dog to be given any dope, pills, etc that you may have missed. I've seen some really bad, ghetto, vehicle transport systems. I've had a couple. Make sure there's nothing in there they can chew/eat/choke on (rubber gaskets, seals, wires, etc), and I think avoiding a system that's too large minimizes the likelihood of the dog getting tossed around all shift, keeps their hips healthier in the long run, etc etc. Just a few tips on what to look for. Good luck.
     
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  5. KCBRUIN

    KCBRUIN Newbie

    For a narcotics only K9 I can see where the dog would never get out of the car without being on lead, but Patrol K9s exit the vehicle off lead enough that I'd never have my dog on the driver's side of the vehicle. I can't see a good argument for a partial cage. There has to be someone somewhere that can help transport.

    In my first year as a handler, while searching a car along the interstate, something in or on the car hit my door popper and released my dog. He's trained to run to me, and luckily never went near traffic but if the door was on the other side he'd have been out in traffic.
     
  6. jBravo3

    jBravo3 Newbie

    I totally agree with you that a handler shouldn't have to transport anybody but the dog in a perfect world (but then, a perfect world wouldn't need cops, or police dogs, or...I digress).

    I'm blessed enough to work at a sizable department where I don't transport (per dept. policy). Other places though-like the county where I grew up-often have one-literally one-law enforcement officer on duty on night shift in the entire county. When it gets late, troopers go off radio and go home, and there may be a game warden somewhere out there in the dark, but that deputy is pretty much it. A one man show. There are a lot of places in the US like that. A lot. If I'm not mistaken, something like 50% of US LE agencies are comprised of ten officers or less, so I would think K9 handlers that have to transport are more common than those that have the luxury of not having to. In my area, that is certainly the case.

    To use the example of my home county, the deputy working nights is fortunate enough to have a K9, but he absolutely has to transport prisoners. It's a five man department. He is the night shift. Him and his dog. No other way around it. So, it's all about context.

    The Explorer I'm in now has a full length kennel, accessible from both sides. Sometimes I really wish I had the ability to safely transport a prisoner though, especially when there are calls holding, all other units are busy, I've just hooked somebody, and then I've gotta request a transport unit. Kinda feel like I'm wasting time, screwing over another officer, or I could just generally be more efficient if I had the ability to transport.

    If I had to transport though, and only if, I'd just rather have the bad guy on the opposite side. Officer safety and all that. The convenience of having the dog right behind me is just that-a convenience (for the most part-another plus though is having him right by me w/in 2 seconds as soon as I'm out).

    There's bad stuff-traffic, trains, planes, cliffs, crowds, guns, knives, bridges, side streets, etc etc on both sides of the vehicle, and who knows where we'll be at in relation to our patrol vehicles and what hazards the dog will have to bypass when he needs to come to the rescue. Traffic isn't just on the left side of the vehicle.

    I'd say most of the proactive, street level, non traffic enforcement interactions I engage in occur on the driver's side (outside of vehicle of course). I'd rather have him right there when I hop out. What if you're in a median, parked on the left side of the road (with the right side of your vehicle exposed to traffic), in a parking lot? Just seems like a moot point to say that access to the kennel should be here or there or there if the reason is solely the dog's safety.

    Anyway, just sayin', all things considered, if, after multiple years of handling, I could finally pick my ideal patrol set up, I'd have a 2/3 kennel in an SUV with dog behind driver, 1/3 secure prisoner transport seat/mini cell behind front passenger seat. Just personal preference, but I think that that's what I'd generally recommend (but context would always be considered, obviously). Hopefully we've at least given the OP some food for thought though (ha). I gotta work with what I'm given though.

    Speaking of which (as I hang my head in both embarrassment and disappointment)...my door popper has stopped working...
     
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  7. pierson2214

    pierson2214 Newbie

    Thank you guys for your input and opinions. I needed some opinions from experienced guys to be able to bring to the Chief for what type of system to buy. Thank you again!
     
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  8. KCBRUIN

    KCBRUIN Newbie

    "I'm blessed enough to work at a sizable department where I don't transport (per dept. policy). "

    Same here.

    "I would think K9 handlers that have to transport are more common than those that have the luxury of not having to."

    In my area, there are probably 45-50 dogs in the metro on our side of the state line. I can only think of one K-9 handler that has a split cage, and the other handler at that agency has a normal full dog cage. That cage was purchased for more of a cool factor and not a need to transport.

    "I really wish I had the ability to safely transport a prisoner though, especially when there are calls holding, all other units are busy, I've just hooked somebody, and then I've gotta request a transport unit. Kinda feel like I'm wasting time, screwing over another officer, or I could just generally be more efficient if I had the ability to transport."

    We cut tickets for misdemeanor dope, so I don't feel bad, because if I was calling for a transport car it's a felony. We don't shag calls so it's K9 calls and proactive work for us, so that's the day to day experience where my philosophy comes from.

    "If I had to transport though, and only if, I'd just rather have the bad guy on the opposite side. Officer safety and all that. The convenience of having the dog right behind me is just that-a convenience (for the most part-another plus though is having him right by me w/in 2 seconds as soon as I'm out)."

    If we're bailing out the car with the dog we take them out through the center partition and they follow us out the driver's door on lead. Otherwise they come out the rear passenger door.

    "There's bad stuff-traffic, trains, planes, cliffs, crowds, guns, knives, bridges, side streets, etc etc on both sides of the vehicle, and who knows where we'll be at in relation to our patrol vehicles and what hazards the dog will have to bypass when he needs to come to the rescue. Traffic isn't just on the left side of the vehicle."

    99.9% of the time traffic is on the left side. I intentionally park my vehicle with the right side out of traffic, with the door popper in mind in case I need to use it. I take every precaution I can to lessen the hazards my dog will face. If it's too dangerous I don't use the door popper. I'll either walk to the car and get him or just don't use him.


    "I'd say most of the proactive, street level, non traffic enforcement interactions I engage in occur on the driver's side (outside of vehicle of course). I'd rather have him right there when I hop out."

    Again we take our dogs out the center partition and out the drivers door on lead if we're getting out of the car together in a hurry.

    "What if you're in a median, parked on the left side of the road (with the right side of your vehicle exposed to traffic), in a parking lot? Just seems like a moot point to say that access to the kennel should be here or there or there if the reason is solely the dog's safety."

    If I'm in the median I wouldn't use my door popper and have my dog jump out of the car onto the interstate unless I thought him risking his life was going to save a human life. Hundreds of thousands of cops work without dogs everyday so the dogs safety can be a priority unless human life is at stake. Having the option to take him out either side gives me the option to not stand out in traffic on an interstate if I don't have to. We work a lot of interstate and two lane blacktops, and John Q will run me and my dog over while bookfacing and chatsnapping.


    "Anyway, just sayin', all things considered, if, after multiple years of handling, I could finally pick my ideal patrol set up, I'd have a 2/3 kennel in an SUV with dog behind driver, 1/3 secure prisoner transport seat/mini cell behind front passenger seat. Just personal preference, but I think that that's what I'd generally recommend (but context would always be considered, obviously). Hopefully we've at least given the OP some food for thought though (ha). "

    If I had my choice it'd be a black 4x4 Tahoe, or crew cab 4x4 pickup with a tonneau cover and slide out shelf in the bed. Full cage, and ghost graphics for the stripes.


    "I gotta work with what I'm given though. "
    For sure, and now that I've been promoted to one of the "they" it's my job to get my replacement the safest gear we can afford.



    "Speaking of which (as I hang my head in both embarrassment and disappointment)...my door popper has stopped working..."

    Our Ace K9 hardware on the door itself was garbage and it's broke multiple times per vehicle. They seem to have redesigned it to be tougher though.
     
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  9. jBravo3

    jBravo3 Newbie

    Glad you mentioned the center partition, and that is probably the safest method, and most expedient if he's already ready to roll out. Great idea and can't believe I forgot to mention that. The center partition would definitely be on my wish list. I have one now but admittedly don't use it often, although, coincidentally, I just did as I got home after my commute and my door was frozen shut (ugh...come quickly spring). With the computer, buttons, toggles, and switches on the console, I just don't use it often though. Back when I was in a Crown Vic years ago, that was my preferred method.

    I'm jealous of guys at other PDs that just go to K9 calls and can stay proactive. Unfortunately for me, I'm a general patrol unit/call taker too. The city I work in is the socioeconomic hub of a pretty rural region and every agency I'm surrounded by, including multiple smaller town PDs, county SOs, state police, and the couple of fed handlers around, all transport. If they're in a uniform, they're in general call rotation too. Not ideal, not a good idea, and I wish it was different.
     
  10. KCBRUIN

    KCBRUIN Newbie

    I had the partition open rolling up to be perimeter for SWAT, and my dog stepped on the siren box setting off three different siren sounds and the air horn. Bad guys said they weren't paying attention and never heard it. Embarrassing as shit though.
     

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