MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department K-9 Unit is under investigation, according to Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings.
A Memphis police officer was using a department canine to breed puppies which were housed at the MPD K-9 facility, according to multiple sources.
"I will say there is an investigation of some officers assigned to the K-9 Unit. It's still early on so there is not much I can share about that," Rallings said.
In 2016, there were 16 dogs in the K-9 unit. Officers take the dogs home with them, but the highly-trained canines are considered both city property and department equipment.
Director Rallings said he is disappointed.
"I'm always disappointed if there is any possibility of a police violation by our police officers," Rallings said.
There are guidelines in the Memphis Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual against officers using department property or equipment for personal use.
"A member shall not convert to personal use any money, property, or any other items belonging to the City, except in the performance of his or her official duty or approved by a competent authority," the handbook says.
There is no word on if any dogs were sold as a result of the possible breeding, but a quick online search for "K-9 puppies" pulled up dogs being sold between $2,000-$7,000.
No officers have been put on leave as a result of this investigation.