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Security Dogs Of The Rose Parade

Photo Courtesy of Pasadena Police Department

Photo Courtesy of Pasadena Police Department

Pasadena police K9 units are a key component of Rose Parade security.

The Pasadena Police Department’s specialized K9 unit is composed of five highly-trained canines and handling officers whose training and deployment cover a myriad of missions from explosives and narcotics detection to suspect apprehension.

They are a strategic instrument utilized in the preparation and execution for securing Tournament of Roses events.  

Armed with a superior sense of smell and natural curiosity, the canines – some of which were bred in Europe – and their officers, sweep the parade route and high-profile areas, including TV Corner,for explosives. Grandstands and those motor homes parked nearby the route are routinely inspected by the K9 unit as is the entirety of the Rose Bowl.

The canines also act as a high-visibility deterrent, noted Officer Tom Brown, a 32-year veteran of the Pasadena Police Department whose partner “Brock” is a nine-year-old German Shepherd trained in explosives and patrol.

Every dog and their handler in the K9 unit undergoes a rigorous basic training prior to being utilized by the department.Training is year-round in order to maintain efficiency, which for the dogs,ranges from responding to behavior commands to recognizing a litany of scents such as those associated with explosives or narcotics.

Security measures for Tournament functions typically begin after Christmas which sees Pasadena’s K9 unit working alongside counterparts from L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the South Pasadena, and San Gabriel police departments, and California Highway Patrol. Federal K9 units from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security, likewise,assist in securing Tournament-associated events.


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