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Canine Drug Program Cost Analysis

NCJ Number
Janeena Jamison Wing
Salvador Vazquez, Misty Kifer
Date Published
March 2004
7 pages
This cost analysis examined the costs of establishing and maintaining a successful drug/patrol canine police program.
Results indicate that the total average cost of a successful canine police program is $55,672.42. This cost includes the cost of buying a dog and paying for dog and handler training ($14,198), the cost of outfitting a police vehicle to support a canine unit ($2,191), the cost of a dog kennel and house ($929.45), the cost of a year’s supply of food and veterinarian bills ($717.50), and the cost of other equipment ($5,954.50). The total cost of establishing the program was estimated at $23,990.45, which was based on the average amount needed to purchase the items necessary, minus the cost of the police canine vehicle. The average salary of a canine handler was estimated at $31,682. The total cost of a successful canine police program ($55,672.42) estimated in this analysis was very close to the cost estimated by the Byrne grant program that funds such programs ($57,773.50). Nine canine drug programs were funded by Byrne between 1995 and 2003. Calculations were based on interviews with several canine handler officers who provided insights into the complexities of establishing and maintaining a police canine program. Cost estimates were also derived from averaging the figures awarded by various grant programs and the actual costs to buy different equipment. Table