POLICE DOG AMENDMENT REJECTED

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By Bob Katzen

The House 43-115, rejected an amendment that would strike a section of the bill that allows an attack on a person by a police dog to be the basis of an inquiry into an officer that can lead to his or her decertification.

Amendment supporters said the injuries or death caused by a dog should not be the basis of an inquiry that can lead to decertification of an officer. They noted the dogs are trained but are not human beings. The purpose of a police dog is rarely to show force but rather a tool that is used to find missing persons, detect illegal drugs, or detain a person.

“The bill regulates the use of canines by law enforcement and empowers the independent commission to investigate officer-involved injuries or deaths,” said Rep. Day who opposed the amendment. “If police use of a dog causes injury or death, we want the commission to be able to review the circumstances of the incident. We further require the commission to make a report to the Legislature of all complaints and actions, including officer-involved injuries or deaths.”

(A Yes” vote is for the amendment and therefore against allowing an attack on a person by a police dog to be the basis of an inquiry into an officer that can lead to decertification of the officer. A “No” vote is for allowing it.)

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