Canine Unit

The Cape May County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit was established in 1985 when newly elected Sheriff, Jim Plousis recognized a need to assist local Law Enforcement agencies with locating missing and wanted persons. The unit started with a Bloodhound named Booker who was donated by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. In May 1985 with one week on the job, Booker successfully located two juveniles who had vandalized the Upper Township Library. In July 1985, due to Booker’s success, a second Bloodhound, Sadie was made a member of the canine unit.

Today, the Canine Unit still holds fast to its Bloodhound roots and heritage with having three Bloodhounds currently in the Unit. The Canine Unit, under Sheriff Gary Schaffer ha expanded to the utilization of five patrol canines, cross-trained to detect either explosives or narcotics. Additionally, the Unit received a Homeland Security grant through New Jersey Detect and Render Safe program for an Explosive Detection Canine which assists with security during public events and responds to threats throughout the region. This team became part of a task force that also provided security at Super Bowl XLVIII, the Miss America Pageant and the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015.

The Cape May County Sheriff’s Canine Unit operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing canine services to Law Enforcement agencies in Cape May County with hundreds of deployments a year. See the Annual Report under the Canine Section for statistics.

In addition to calls for canine service the unit had canine instructors who are able to provide training for canine units from other law enforcement agencies.

Canine Handlers and their partners also educate the public through demonstrations and by participating in numerous community events such as National Night Out, 4H Fair and LEAD (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) programs.

Human Scent Trailing Bloodhounds

  • Missing persons
  • Criminal suspects

Patrol Canines

  • Criminal Apprehension
  • Building Searches for criminal suspects
  • Area Searches for criminal suspects
  • Article Searches / Evidence recovery
  • Tracking  
  • Tactical Deployments
  • Crossed trained in explosives or narcotics detection

To contact the Canine Unit call (609) 465-1306 or E-mail    Fax: (609) 465-3129.

LE Agencies ONLY - Interested in Canine Training for your agency?, click the link for more information. Questions about Canine Training?, please e-mail us at