Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Police dogs

There has been a fair bit of media lately about police dogs using excessive force. I used to know a guy many years ago who was involved with training police dogs in Delta. I didn’t really know him, I just remember hearing him speak and give a presentation on police dog training.

To my understanding, back then the dogs were trained to grab the arm and pin the suspect. There was no mauling the suspects face involved in that training. It sounds like things have changed.

In the two cases on the news, both suspects admit wrong doing. One kid admitted to breaking into a convenience store and stealing a monster drink. Hardly a serious offence. Sending a police dog to grab and pin him would be appropriate. Having the dog maul his face is not appropriate. It’s like tasering someone after they’re down or after they are hogtied. Reasonable force means taking the person down not beating the tar out of them once they’re on the ground.

Likewise the other case on the news showed a guy using a skateboard to smash a transit bus door. He was not only in the wrong but committing an aggressive act that warranted a certain amount of reasonable force to subdue him. He too was mauled in the face by the dog and had tendon damage near his knee which made him unable to walk properly long after the attack. Even though that suspect was in the wrong and being aggressive, using force to take him down was warranted but mauling his face and knee after he was on the ground was not.

Mauling someone’s face after they are on the ground is wrong. The dog’s trainer on site is legally liable. He could easily have given the command to stop but obviously felt punishing the suspect after he was subdued was his right when it clearly was not.


  1. Person breaks into store/house (maybe your house?).
    Police locate person - at that point he's arrestable so they tell him to stay putt.
    Person thinks he's too bad-ass to listen to police and runs
    Police use tracking dog.
    Person gets bit by dog because he didn't listen to simple instructions...
    The moral of the story: Don't commit crime... and NEVER run from the police IF you're arrestable.
    Pretty simple in my books!

  2. Mauling of the face is wrong and someone needs to answer for that. Period. Having the dogs grab the arms or the legs, I don't have a problem with. I am sorry that his tendon in his knee was damaged, but here is an idea: if you don't want to be taken down by a police dog then don't break the law. I agree with the above commenter - pretty simple.

    1. Did you know that every year,K-9 officers are killed in the line of duty? If you're a criminal, given the command to stop, stop. Your life may depend on it. I am for our police, and that includes our K-9 officers.

  3. It never ends with our impossibly troubled Policing here;

    Victoria Times-Colonist.

    "Internal RCMP documents show the force scrambling to fill jobs in B.C. despite years of warnings that chronic understaffing is putting police and the public at risk."

    "One in 10 Mountie positions in B.C. sits empty, says a management report obtained by the Times Colonist. Jobs left unfilled due to medical, parental and other forms of extended leave push the vacancy rate to almost 16 per cent provincewide and to 17.4 per cent on Vancouver Island."

    18%? That's terrible, we couldn't fight fires that way...

    "We've been trying to do more with less for decades. The work doesn't go away, it just gets spread on fewer people," said Carleton University professor Linda Duxbury, who wrote a 2007 report that said the over-tasked, underresourced RCMP was making its officers sick."

    Is this new? No...:

    "A separate but similar 2007 report warned that the RCMP risked burning out its members because their workload was growing while the number of resources thinned."

    "Yet it's clear the problem has not been addressed in many areas of B.C."

    "But RCMP brass aren't willing to acknowledge shortages are affecting front-line policing."

    "I just don't see it as a systemic problem in our ability to deliver the services with the resources we have," said Chief Supt. Kevin DeBruyckere, in charge of career development and resourcing for E Division, which covers B.C."

    "When asked if the shortages pose a public safety concern, DeBruyckere said: "No, I don't think so."


    "Staff Sgt. Scott Warren, who represents the Island's Mounties on labour matters, is concerned. "Any vacancy rate is unacceptable if it affects officer safety and, as a result, public safety."

    "Warren said the situation is more dire when taking into account members on extended leave. "We don't have the manpower to back-fill those positions, so the vacancy rate becomes even bigger."

    "vacancy rate becomes even bigger"

    What could be worse than close to 20% of the workforce missing? Oh, yeah, thirty or forty percent actually missing...

    But the cowed public will put up with anything here...


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