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April 23, 2022

Officer / Canine Involved Shooting Follow-Up

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Written by: Bob Guere
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A few days ago I posted about Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) and canine involved shootings. The purpose of the post was to announce that we ARE beginning to work a training program that will help equip LEO’s to address canines in the line of duty without using deadly force. The purpose was not to bash LEO’s or unfairly target them. For those of you who took time to post negative comments, I think you should go for a ride along first in order to better empathize with the level of danger that these men and women encounter on a daily basis. I wanted a healthy debate, not a firing squad. Unless you have something poignant to add, please take your empty, juvenile comments elsewhere. Some of us may have had bad experiences with Law Enforcement and I dare say that Law Enforcement has had bad experiences with some of us. That doesn’t give either of us the right to generalize and judge. LEO’s are out there to keep us safe and we should be grateful for that and adequately acknowledge the work they do for us and share the love we have for them instead of lobbing verbal grenades regarding a situation that none of us were there for. Speaking with love and empathy is our way, not with hate and judgment.

Deadly force and the consequences that come with it-collateral damage, i.e. stray bullets, ricochets, and errant shots that can wound officers like yesterdays example-should be an absolute last result. LEO’s should have tools in their “tool bag” to identify behavior and distinguish the difference between aggressive and excited. An excited dog or one that is barking, is most often not a threat and should be identified as such. When a dog is targeted as a threat and shots are fired the entire operation can be compromised and the frequency of energy that the entire group operates on becomes chaotic and heightened. I would imagine that shots being fired adds an entirely different dynamic to any situation and that doing so should be avoided at all costs or only when absolutely necessary. Again, the point of my post was to talk about training for officers so that “absolutely necessary” becomes an option that is further down the line.

Our job is to help equip our fellow man with tools that can help save lives in the line of duty, not to unfairly bash them, especially when we weren’t there and have little information regarding exactly what happened. If an LEO fears for his safety or that of his pal, he must act accordingly and we are simply trying to provide more resources so that “accordingly” includes many other options besides deadly force. I apologize to those of you that may have been offended by my remarks and for not adequately demonstrating my empathy with the officers and what they may have been experiencing.

Diamond will be an excellent training tool because she was a targeted dog who actually survived 3 shots at point blank range. With Diamond we can recreate the energy of that situation and demonstrate what is aggression and what is defense, excitement or alerting. I hope that this post ignites a healthy debate where only productive comments are offered, not bone-headed insults that serve only to create a divide and separate us from the LEO’s and dogs that we are trying to help.
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