Going to the dogs? Police, donations, and K9s

Kevin Walby (Department of Criminal Justice, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada)
Alex Luscombe (Centre for Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Randy K. Lippert (Department of Criminology and Sociology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Publication date: 3 December 2018



Most existing literature on K9 units has focused on the relationship between police handler and canine, or questions about use of force. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between private donations to public police departments, an increasingly accepted institutional practice in the policing world, and K9 units. Specifically, the authors examine rationales for sponsoring and financially supporting K9 units in Canada and the USA.


The authors focus on four main themes that emerged in analysis of media articles, interview transcripts, and the results of freedom of information requests.


These four rationales or repertoires of discourse are: police dogs as heroes; dogs as crime fighters; cute K9s; and police dogs as uncontroversial donation recipients.


After drawing attention to the expanding role of police foundations in these funding endeavors, the authors reflect on what these findings mean for understanding private sponsorship of public police as well as K9 units in North America and elsewhere. The authors draw attention to the possibility of perceived and actual corruption when private, corporate monies become the main channel through which K9 and other police units are funded.



Kevin Walby, Alex Luscombe and Randy K. Lippert (2018) "Going to the dogs? Police, donations, and K9s", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 798-812

Download as .RIS


: https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-05-2017-0066



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.