Sunday, July 15, 2012


I sympathize with your loss as a pet owner who loves her dog immensely. However, I love my police officer husband much more and would be more upset at the injury or loss of him. I understand calling for more training and scenarios, but asking for a persons career over one mistake is ludicrous. I can't make sense of the reasons behind his actions but support his effort to go home at the end of his shift. I suspect the media of sensationalizing this story, as they do with ALL police related stories.

Tiffani, I think everyone here wants your husband to return home safely at the end of his shift, and if a dog (or, for that matter, a human) posed a serious threat to his life, we would understand his defending himself. I still regard most law enforcement officers as true heroes, and I think most of the people here do so as well.

However, I think many policemen overestimate the threat from dogs. As a teenager in the mid-1960s, I had a paper route when delivering by bicycle was the norm. Every night at least one family on my route would fail to lock up their dog for the night, and I was “charged" at least once every night. I was never bitten. Deliverymen, paramedics, and firemen also encounter dogs on a regular basis, but they are rarely bitten, and I have never heard of any of them having to shoot a dog out of self-defense. Yet, somewhere in the U.S., a dog is shot and killed by a policeman about once every day.

The problem is that too many people have your perspective that if a policeman did it, there must have been a good reason for it. As a consequence some policemen have learned that they can shoot any dog under any set of conditions, and escape any consequences just by saying “I felt threatened.”

ASPCA has studied this issue and calls for a more rigorous standard.  LE Response To Potentially Dangerous Dogs.

There are good and bad people in every profession, including police work. In most professions, the really bad people are fired or jailed, but it seems that in law enforcement there is an us-against-them mentality that causes them to protect their bad apples.

How else can you explain a police officer striking a judge and his comrades saying they saw nothing? 

A small set of policemen whose city (Chicago) spends well over a million dollars of taxpayer money every *month* settling lawsuits out of court, and yet who continue to serve on the force .  Abusing the Badge

You say the media blows things out of proportion. Well, take a look at these videos.  The Vicious Dog  and The Attacking Dog.  Tell me how you would write them up. BTW, the family in the second video asked the police several times to shut the door to the car so the dogs wouldn’t get out, and they refused to do so.

Then there are the police who have shot dogs in the back

Their departments initially defended them on the grounds that “they felt threatened,” even though [in the Maryland mayor case, at least] the same policemen admitted the dogs were running away when they shot them.

You say “but asking for a persons career over one mistake is ludicrous.” Really? Would you say that to John Sandusky’s first victim? O.J. Simpson’s? Bernie Madoff’s? Anyone who wasn’t a policeman and did one of the things in the previous paragraph? Policemen are just like everyone else in that they are responsible for their actions.

Trust and respect for law enforcement officers will continue to decline, and frustration and anger will continue to grow, until the vast majority of law enforcement officers who are heroes step up to the plate and stop protecting the bad apples in the group.


  1. The more I read these stories the more disgusted I become. Police have become militarized and are no longer police officers but military posing as police. News stories abound about misuse of force.

    Its "investigated" but no charges are brought. Police have a higher duty of care than a regular citizen. The donning of the gun and badge should denote pride, duty, and honor not to the government but to the citizenry.

    I have kept up with this trend of dog shootings and of unnecessary force used in "drug raids."

    I am more afraid of police now than I am any criminal. The cop can shoot you, beat you up, mace you, or taser you and claim self defense. Many times these episodes are taped but the tape "goes missing" if there is evidence of police wrongdoing.

    The drug war has added another wrinkle that makes the game all the deadlier. Forfeiture laws that allow police to keep part of what they seize only increases the potential for harassment and abuse.

    This trend of shooting dogs only adds to the discontent many feel toward "law enforcement." As more of these cases come out, law enforcement will keep being revealed as liars, cheats, and murderers that get away with their crimes.

    As for any "mistakes" that happen, you have got to be kidding. The single greatest attribute a cop must have is judgement. If he or she indiscriminately fires a weapon, that shows a dismal lack of judgement and that person should be fired and barred from police work for life.

  2. Please view my new video, it gives officers options to use before lethal force. The link is below.

    Police training on options to use before shooting dogs