Cops could get training to deal with dogs

  • Follow Crime & courts

ATLANTA -- Too often a pet snarling to protect its home or owner is killed by law-enforcement officers due to misunderstanding or lack of training, according to a lawmaker who introduced legislation Thursday to require training.

Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, introduced House Bill 803 along with Democrats Margaret Kaiser of Atlanta and Karla Drenner of Avondale Estates.

“We’re having a good many animals put down, shot by police officers,” Benton said. “A constituent of mine told me referred to me a good friend of hers told me about a problem they have here in the city of Atlanta.”

In most cases, dogs are merely acting on instinct, he said.

The training in how to “negotiate encounters with animals and the ways in which a peach officer can control and neutralize an animal” would be part of new officer’s basic instruction. Veterans would have to get it when they return for their existing refresher course requirements.

“I think it’s good practice because these animals are pets,” Benton said. “For the most part they’re not vicious. They don’t know people, and so in some cases the first reaction is to shoot them.”

Benton hasn’t heard any opposition but expects debate. Dog-related bills often generate a large, grassroots response from average citizens.

The bill would also require every law-enforcement agency to adopt written policies for dealing with aggressive dogs, cats, birds, reptiles or any other domesticated animal. Failure could result in state or federal funds being withheld from an agency, according to the bill.

Comments (3) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Mr. Thackeray
Mr. Thackeray 01/24/14 - 11:37 am
LOVE IT!!! Our pets are

LOVE IT!!! Our pets are merely protecting our property/families from what they view as intruders.

corgimom 01/24/14 - 08:09 pm
Hey, in Charlotte the police

Hey, in Charlotte the police did a drug raid on a dealer's house and found an alligator as a watchdog.

csraguy 01/25/14 - 02:59 am

The article starts of with "Too often a pet is killed..." and yet fails to offer any information backing up that assertion compared to the number of times officers & deputies encounter such incidents on a daily basis.

The required training for officers now is 20 hours a year which include shooting their firearm for a couple of hours once during the year so long as they pass/qualify. Officers have been asking for more training for years as training and education should be a priority. Firearms training should be at least every quarter and should be a lot more than just qualifying - it should include day/night shooting as well as scenario shooting at various locations, etc. Legal updates, fourth amendment laws, search and seizure, and the list goes on should be trained on yearly and officers should be afforded around 100 hours or so of yearly training and be paid for it.

Reality: Most agencies require the minimum 20 hours of training and either train their personnel while on duty or issue comp. time vs. paying their men and women to train. They don't have the personnel nor the funding to train because public safety funding IS NOT A PRIORITY of most counties in the South, especially in states such as Georgia.

While this training may be beneficial, it is very far down the list of the training that needs to be afforded our law enforcement officers. We don't need more mandates without funding because all this does is take officers off of the streets.

How about a bill to fund 50 hours a year of mandatory training for police officers throughout the state - that would be a great start!

willie Lee
willie Lee 01/25/14 - 10:42 am

How much training does a pig ne
ed to eat slop. You don't shoot a dog because its barking . This is a prime example of the lack of intelligence in. law enforcement .

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs