- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prince George’s County sheriff’s deputies acted appropriately during a raid in which they killed two dogs belonging to a small-town mayor, according to a report released Friday.

Last summer, police raided the home and killed the dogs of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo after drug smugglers sent a package containing 32 pounds of marijuana to his residence. Police later cleared Mr. Calvo and his family of any wrongdoing.

Police have said they think the drug delivery was part of a scheme in which packages were sent to the homes of unsuspecting recipients. The packages would then be picked up by someone else shortly after delivery.

The sheriff’s Internal Affairs Division said in a review that the deputies acted in a “professional and acceptable manner,” and that the search warrant was executed lawfully.

The review comes after Mr. Calvo and his family filed a complaint to the sheriff’s office last fall.

“My deputies did their job to the fullest extent of their abilities,” Sheriff Michael Jackson said in a statement.

“I am sorry for the impact” the incident caused Mr. Calvo and his family and for the loss of their pets, Sheriff Jackson added.

The dogs had been “charging” toward authorities before being shot, the report said.

Mr. Calvo said the description of his two black Labradors’ behavior and some other details as described by authorities are inaccurate. The report’s conclusions don’t differ from the sheriff’s long-held justifications for the July raid, he said.

“He’s saying, apparently, what he did to me and my family was not a mistake and was in fact a model of how law enforcement should operate,” Mr. Calvo said. “This sends a chilling message that this is how they do business in Prince George’s County.”

In addition, Mr. Calvo said law enforcement agencies have refused to release evidence and other reports that he has requested. He said he plans to announce on Monday his future steps in response to the review.

After the raid, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation last month requiring law enforcement agencies to issue reports on SWAT team deployments in the state and to report whenever a SWAT team injures or kills a pet.

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