Leander Police Department officers to receive dog behavior training

July 15, 2013

Everyone wearing a badge and carrying a gun,” was the response made by Lt. Derral Partin concerning the dog behavior training that police in Leander, Texas will now have to go through, KEYE TV reported on July 12.

The decision to train all Leander Police Department officers in dog behavior comes after a shooting on June 17, where a German Shepherd named Vinny was shot by Leander police as they tried to serve a warrant. The person they were looking for didn’t live at the address on the warrant.

The new training will teach officers how to better perceive attacking dogs, and how to make a stand without the use of deadly force. Officers will learn to use OC Spray, Tasers and also how to take a bite.

This is the same training that has proved effective in police departments and government agencies around the country. It is the same training that Fort Worth police now receive eight hours of classroom training. T

his is not video training. Nhlea Jim Osorio, a senior law enforcement officer, teaches the class. The class has been so effective since given in Fort Worth that no dogs have been shot there since the training began in October 2012.

Lt. Partin stated his department has had 300 phone messages since the day of the shooting, which has left Vinny still injured and in pain, and their vet bills unpaid. Partin said the dogs owner would have to request the city to cover the cost of Vinny’s ongoing vet bills.

Only 300 phone messages? The department should consider themselves lucky not to have received thousands of phone calls and emails. They’re also fortunate not to have received death threats, as was the case in the Hawthorne, California dog Max, who was recently shot and killed by police.

Dog lovers will no longer sit back and allow police to shoot at innocent dogs. Animal advocates are being held back by those who threaten actual physical violence. It diminishes those of us who seek justice using the legal system.

Most people only express outrage over dog shootings, but a select few in each shooting have proven to be dangerous to the officers responsible.

Leander police didn’t have much to say about the warrant being served at the wrong address. It was the address the department had for the person at that time.

As for the victim in this dog shot by police incident, Vinny still has some ripped muscle tissue in his shoulder area. His owner, James Simmons says the injury is being treated with massage therapy.

Valerie Simmons is hoping the new training will prevent what happened to their family from ever happening to another.

The Leander Police Department agrees, and this is one reason the dog behavior training will be given to all officers. Officers who receive this training will hopefully have a new perspective towards any dog coming in their direction.

Good job, Leander. Let’s hope your officers learn from this class, and know what to do when the next tail-wagging canine approaches them.

Be sure to also teach the officers to watch out for young children, as was the case when Vinny was shot.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the new training program? Think it will help? Your comments are welcome.

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