SALT LAKE CITY— In light of yesterday’s incident in which an officer shot a dog while searching a backyard for a missing child, the Salt Lake City Police Department is taking steps to evaluate officer training relative to police-dog encounters.
The goal of any after-action assessment is increased safety for officers and the public. To that end, Chief Burbank has been in contact with the Humane Society of the United States to discuss the dynamics of dog encounters. The department also is reviewing a training module offered by the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing.
Additionally, the Chief’s Office has made contact with the dog’s owner to discuss the loss of his beloved pet. At the owner’s earliest convenience, they will be meeting next week.
Lastly, no officer wishes to use lethal force during any encounter. Per policy, all such cases — including this one — are reviewed by the Internal Affairs Unit.
A free and respectful exchange of opinions on this issue is welcomed by the department, which recommends sending email correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.