Sometimes a bark will do the job. Sometimes it takes a bite.
In either case, Porter and Bodie have it covered.
On Friday, the Pinellas County Commission recognized St. Petersburg police Officer Dennis W. Porter and his partner, Bodie, above, as 2007's Canine Team of the Year.
Porter and Bodie have been together for the past three years, working the midnight shift. They were a productive team last year, catching and arresting 50 people.
Police canine teams are better equipped to search a building for hidden suspects, especially at night, because of the dog's sense of smell and speed.
Officers also use the dog's keen nose to check a building or area for evidence, which often is discarded after a crime.
Sometimes, they track a suspect who has fled a crime scene by following the scent through yards and over fences.
The dog-officer team also is trained to sniff out hidden drugs. Last year they helped seize a quantity of ecstasy, marijuana and paraphernalia.
Bodie, a black German shepherd, will be 5 next month.
All the canines carry photo cards to give to kids at demonstrations. See them at www.stpete.org/police/uniform_services-k9.htm.