Austin Police To Receive Dog Training To Reduce Dog Deaths
The Austin police department is willing to provide the necessary dog training to all officers in order to avoid any more unnecessary dog shootings.
After a number of canine shootings, the department has decided it was about time to teach its officers how to interpret dog behavior and understand the difference between an aggressive, attacking dog and a playful one.
The department will spend $12,000 to train its 1,700 officers by the end of the month and instructor Jim Osorio will be in charge of the training.
Osorio is a supporter of non-lethal force against dangerous dogs, including the use of batons, pepper spray and stun guns. In addition, he advocates the use of an unarmed combat technique against dogs that he calls ‘hand-to-paw combat.’
“There are dogs at one-third of all homes. First responders need to know how to react, how to read body language and how to protect themselves. It would be like sending a firefighter out that didn’t know CPR or a police officer who didn’t know how to do a traffic stop.”
Police in Leander and Round Rock have undergone similar training. Leander Police Chief Greg Minton ordered the training after one of his officers shot a German shepherd therapy dog in June 2013 while trying to serve a warrant at the wrong address.
“I would like people to understand that we don’t have a thorough understanding of dogs. We’re trained to deal with violent and aggressive people.”