Challenge coins traditionally were popular and played a well-established role within several first responder organizations such as the Air Force, Navy, and Fire Fighting communities amongst others. While it was believed that only those that earned one for their valor could truly appreciate it, challenge coins have expanded in their influence and are now a part of collectible items. In modern times, it is not unusual for manufacturers to design coins for collectors in a variety of sizes, often made using popular culture references to include superheroes and other well-known characters in a way that creates a parody, or creatively based on any of the responder organizations; Police Brand Memorabilia and Collectibles is one such brand that focuses on designing creative products paying homage to first responders.
Type of Product
This K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin pays homage to the canines and canine-handlers of the first responder organizations such as the police department and is a part of Police Brand Memorabilia and Collectibles’ K9 Police series. The coin is 3 inches tall and 4mm thick, twice as big as most coins and can be a part of any challenge coin collection or even be the beginning of one.
The K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin comes in two elegant variations to appeal to differing aesthetic sensibilities of customers.
- Antique Silver
- Antique Gold
The K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin, on close inspection, reveals the abstract impression of an American flag on a black background, and stars representative of the Police Department along with the circular frame, upon which is superimposed a full-color animated depiction of a brawny and ferocious police dog fitted in the professional uniform. On the flip side, the same illustration is engraved in either antique silver or gold, depending on the purchase. The antique finish of the K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin gives it an old-world feel and adds depth to the charm of the collectible.
Uniforms of dogs that are a part of the K9 Police unit are inexpensive and designed so they can respond to threats and hazards of any nature that a police dog may confront on a daily basis. They are made out of police-grade cloth, mesh, and trims such that they appear to be a “second-skin” while providing the canines with optimum protection, as can be seen, depicted in the K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin. They are usually available in standard law enforcement colors and patterns. These uniforms are sometimes outfitted with cooling packs to reduce the canine’s overall body temperature to ensure comfort while working in warm environments. These vests are occasionally lined with reflective or neon tape for visibility in daylight, low light, and blackout situations. Additionally, they are convenient when working in wooded or rural locations as well. Finally, a patch with a logo of the respective agency is affixed on the uniform so a K9 can be identified as an on-duty dog by the public immediately.
Not everyone can serve as part of the police department or other law enforcement agencies as it requires a unique and job-specific skillset. Similarly, to be a K9 for the police comes with the requirement to perform certain tasks that are not feasible for all breeds of dogs which is why we popularly only see a few specific breeds being trained for it. The K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin flaunts a German Shepherd which is one of the top choices alongside the Belgian Malinois, Bloodhounds, Dutch Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers. Some of these have been specifically bred over generations to fulfill this role.
These breeds are widely known for their adeptness and power, their ability to cooperate with assigned handlers and take instructions as required, and in some cases also attack criminals on command. While some of them are trained to perform only one task, others are trained in a variety of them. Training and Certification are taken up by the United States Police Canine Association. However, it is important to note that Police Brand Memorabilia and Collectibles is in no way associated with any such governmental department or law enforcement agency.
What do Police Canines do?
The K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin is in homage to the endeavors that can be attributed to the police dogs and handlers. Their responsibilities primarily include three facets.
- Detection: It is no secret that our friends on four paws have an extraordinary sense of smell, and this ability is used in favor of fighting crimes. During training, the dogs are taught how to sniff out several drugs, detect explosives and accelerants used to commit arson. They often accompany officers to big events to ensure safety.
- Apprehension: Police dogs also learn how to apprehend a suspect and hold them hostage as part of their training. Oftentimes, due to the need to protect their handlers/human partners, they put their lives on the line and take prompt action. Dogs best at apprehension include herding breeds such as the German Shepherd seen on our challenge coin, as they have been specifically bred to exhibit intelligence and physical strength in aiding herders over generations.
- Search and Rescue: Locating missing victims, both deceased and alive, is a significant part of police work. The dogs are able to dig through rubble in case of an earthquake, explosion, or any other natural/man-made disaster. While human searchers are efficient, dogs cover a larger ground in a relatively shorter span of time and are therefore invaluable to rescue missions.
While the handlers are not pictured on the K9 Police Unit Challenge Coin, they are equally important and play a foundational role in the course of a K-9’s career. For a dog to be trained the handlers must receive a lengthy training first since they’re the ones that facilitate it. The canine handler must first complete mandatory police academy training followed by patrol training for a couple of years before they can transfer to the specialty canine unit.
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