New Texas Law Aims To Stop Police From Shooting Dogs
Education is key when it comes to dealing with dogs – and that goes doubly when you’ve got a gun. A new law sets out to train cops from shooting dogs first, and asking questions later.
The residents of Houston are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. Yes, it seems those body cameras worn by the local police force have captured much more than public interactions, they’ve caught shocking footage of animal brutality that has both appalled and outraged citizens to the point that a demand for better training in how area cops deal with dogs is getting some serious traction.
The videos that stirred residents to action include 2014 body camera footage of an officer in Cleburne, Texas, calling to a young dog in a residential area, and then shooting it dead without apparent provocation. In fact, a 2013 investigation by a local news station found Houston-area law enforcement had shot at least 228 dogs between 2010 and 2013.That’s insanity and the locals agree!
Enter Representative Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) and legislation that will require new cops take a 4-hour dog encounter course during training (or within their first two years) that will tackle use of non-lethal methods to handling an encounter. Current police officers who seek a promotion will also be required to take the course that will teach officers how to deal with aggressive dogs and read an animal’s body language. Hey, isn’t this something we teach our thee-year olds? Just sayin’. Senators approved the bill 30-1 (Woo hoo!).
The catalyst behind the bill was a couple from Fort Worth who lost their border collie Lilly to a trigger-happy cop responding to a burglary report. Seriously? A border collie that can’t be calmed by a Milk Bone just doesn’t exist.
Apparently the U.S. Department of Justice even weighed in on how to reduce dog shootings back in 2011 noting that unwarranted dog shootings often do serious damage to community trust in the department and profession. No kidding!
The measure now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law. Once approved, this desperately needed training will begin January 2016.
[Source: Dallas Morning News]