The Madison Police Department K9 Unit began in 1986. Currently, the Madison Police Department has two handlers. The K9 Unit’s primary responsibility is to search for suspects fleeing serious crimes and also to search for lost children. The dogs are quite successful in their searches. If patrol officers are able to establish a perimeter and contain the suspects, the dogs will find them! Verbal commands and hand signals are used to communicate with the dogs. The handlers and dogs develop a very special bond that comes from driving around together in a patrol car for 40 hours a week.