- Associated Press - Friday, July 25, 2014

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Coeur d’Alene police officers in northern Idaho will be required to watch a series of training videos on dog encounters after the fatal shooting of a Colorado man’s dog sparked outrage.

“Training law enforcement in dog encounters is crucial,” Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark said in a statement Thursday. “I am not saying officers should compromise safety, but understanding dog behavior and having nonlethal options will reduce the number of lethal incidents that are a tragedy for all involved.”

The Spokesman-Review (https://bit.ly/1nCOLtC) reports that officers will watch “Police and Dog Encounters: Tactical Strategies and Effective Tools to Keep Our Communities Safe and Humane.”

Police on July 9 put out a statement that an officer responding to a report of a suspicious van had shot and killed a “vicious pit bull” that lunged for the officer’s face from inside the vehicle.

The dog turned out to be a 2-year-old black Labrador mix named Arfee. Clark has apologized to the dog’s owner, a former Coeur d’Alene resident now living in Colorado.

The department is also investigated the shooting. Officials said the final report will be reviewed by city administrators and attorneys, plus an outside panel, before it’s made public.

The name of the officer who shot the dog hasn’t been released. Sgt. Christie Wood, police spokeswoman, said the officer’s body camera wasn’t on at the time.

Clark, the police chief, said the Idaho Peace Officer Standards Academy doesn’t have dog encounter training available. The academy trains law enforcement officers in the state.

The series Coeur d’Alene police will watch has five 10-minute videos and was produced by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services office, Safe Humane Chicago and the National Canine Research Council.

The videos are intended to teach officers how to read a dog’s body language and determine when a dog is scared or dangerous. Officers will also be shown how their approach can affect a dog’s behavior, how to assess risk, and when to consider using force.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com

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