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Police Department

Canine (K-9) Section

Special Operations Division
Tactical Operations Section
Canine (K-9) Unit
2715 B Tucker Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37218

black and white Police badge

Canine (K-9) Supervisors

Troy Gossett, thumbnail photo

Sgt. Troy Gossett, A Detail Supervisor

David Hacker, thumbnail photo

Sgt. David Hacker, B Detail Supervisor

Sergeant David Hacker joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 2004 after serving five years with the Mt. Juliet Police Department. He currently supervises the K9 Unit’s evening shift. Prior to his current assignment, David has served the role of Patrol Officer, Flex Officer, CSU Detective, Drug Interdiction Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Flex Sergeant, and Juvenile Crime Task Force Sergeant. His current canine partner is K9 DOC. His previous narcotic canine partners were Jett and Paco.

Jerry Denton, thumbnail photo

Sgt. Jerry Denton, C Detail Supervisor

Sergeant Jerry Denton joined the Metro-Nashville Police Department in 2001. He currently supervises the Canine Units Midnight shift as well as a supervisor on the Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team. Sgt. Denton is one of the Canine Unit’s Patrol Dog Trainers. He is working with his 3rd canine partner named Bruce. His 2 previous canine partners were K9 Roscoe and K9 Cletus. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Middle Tennessee State University. Prior to his current assignment, Sgt. Denton supervised the Midnight Shift of the East Patrol Precinct and worked as a handler in the departments Canine Section from 2004 until his promotion to sergeant in 2018.

Chris Warner, thumbnail photo

Sgt. Chris Warner, Training Supervisor

Sergeant Warner joined the Metro-Nashville Police Department in 1994. He currently supervises the Canine Units Day shift under the Tactical Operations Section of the Special Operations Division. Sgt. Warner is working with his 3rd canine partner. His current canine partner is K9 Gunner. His 2 previous canine partners were Yago and Shiloh. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration and Management from Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to his current assignment, Sgt. Warner supervised the Evening and Midnight Shifts of the Canine Unit. Additionally, he served on the department’s Drill and Ceremony Team for 10 years.

K9 Cletus
K9 Cletus

The Metro-Nashville Police Department Canine Section was established in 1972 with approximately 6 dog teams that specialized in criminal apprehension. Their responsibility grew when they added explosive detection in 1975 and then narcotic detection in 2004-2005. The MNPD Canine Section is one of the few K9 sections in the state that deploy dogs 24/7/365. This section is also one of the few sections in the state that train dog teams in house instead of contracting that responsibility to an outside agency/company.

The Metro Police Canine Unit consists of over 16 canine teams. The teams are trained in patrol work as well as being cross trained in narcotic or explosive odor detection. The Canine Unit is part of the Tactical Operations Section of the Special Operations Division. The Canine Unit is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week unit.

The Metro Nashville Police Department evaluates and purchases dogs from vendors throughout the United States after being imported from Europe.

Those who wish to join the Canine Unit take part in a physical skills assessment as well as an oral interview. If chosen, each Officer is paired with a canine who will become their partner. Once they are paired together, the Officer and canine begin the bonding process. This starts with the canine living with the Officer at his/her residence. Then the training begins.

The canine teams go through a rigorous fourteen weeks patrol dog certification course. This course culminates with a test-certification process that meets the standards of the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). The USPCA standards are some of the strictest in the country. This certification process is repeated once a year for the entire working life of the canine team. To maintain their proficiency, each Canine team participates in ten hours of patrol dog training per month throughout their careers.

group photo of training unit members
MNPD K-9 Training Unit
group photo of midnight shift members
MNPD K-9 Midnight Shift
Canine teams performing demonstration
K9 Teams conducting a K9 Demonstration for Community Groups

The Metro Police Canine Unit utilizes the following breeds:

German Shepherd
German Shepherds
Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois


K9 Alpine and trainer
Officer Mark Sydenstricker and K9Alpine

The canine teams are trained at the Metro Police Canine Units USPCA nationally certified facility (one of only a few in the United States). Members of our training staff have completed the requirements and are all USPCA nationally certified trainers.

Metro Nashville Police Canine Teams are trained in house by our training staff. They are trained in voice and hand signal obedience, building searches for felons, felony tracking, article searches, pursuit/apprehension techniques as well as handler protection. Our canine teams make countless arrests and answer thousands of calls for service each year.

Once the Canine team has passed the patrol dog certification, they go through twelve weeks of odor detection training. The Canine Unit trains detector dogs for the purpose of locating either narcotics or explosives. The canines which are cross trained in explosive detection, assist in security sweeps for many large high profile events, as well as, responding to calls for suspicious items or packages. The teams that are cross trained in narcotic detection are utilized to search for drugs by all elements of the police department. Each canine team certifies annually to meet the continuing proficiency standards of the USPCA in addition to their regularly monthly scheduled ten hour patrol dog training sessions. The teams are very successful and their efforts have resulted in seizures of drugs, currency, and property.

canine agility training
Officer Burnett and K9 Spike conducting agility training

canine hurdle jumping
K9 Kaos jumping a hurdle

canine broad jump
K9 Spike on the broad jump

canine obedience training
Obedience Training with Officer Holland and K9 Kaos

canine handler protection exercise
K9 Brach conducting handler protection exercise during training

canine apprehends during training
K9 Dooley apprehends Officer Hackney during training exercise

canine building search training
K9 Cletus performs building search exercise during training

USPCA Region 13 Certification

K9 Spike
K9 Spike

K9 Scout
K9 Officer Hackney and Scout

K9 Turbo
K9 Officer Scruggs and Turbo

K9 Haus
K9 Officer Smith and Haus

group photo October 2016
USPCA Region 13 Certifications October 2016

Division Motto

Duty, Integrity, Professionalism
Special Operations Division

Related Resources

Member of the United States Police K9 Association

United States Police Canine Association Region 13

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