BREVARD HISTORY: Titusville Police Chief Jim Erwin Credited With Establishing TPD’S First K-9 Corps in 1960s
By Space Coast Daily // January 22, 2023
Titusville Police Department now has four K-9 teams providing 24-hour availability
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – Titusville Police Chief Jim Erwin is credited with establishing the Titusville Police Department’s first K-9 Corps, later called the K-9 Unit.
K-9 Patrolman Bernard “Bernie” Palisi was placed in charge of the K-9 Unit, having a background in K-9 training prior to joining TPD.
K-9 Patrolman Palisi trained TPD’s 1st K-9’s “Wolf” and “Satan,” both German Shepherds.
The K-9’s spent the first five to six months of their training learning police tactics such as attack on command, tracking, fetching, building searches, protection of his master, jumping hurdles, teaching right from wrong, and learning when a person is playing around or when the person is seriously attacking.
As with all dogs, a police dog’s training began with obedience, as it still does today, and learning the five basic commands – sit, stay, come, heel, and down, while on the leash and off, with verbal commands and finally by hand gestures only.
The cost to train each dog back then was approximately $500 to $600.
The Titusville Police Department now has four K-9 tems, providing 24-hour availability.
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