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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Last year, in the state of Texas alone, some 200 dogs were shot and killed by police officers. Those numbers have some animal protection groups demanding mandatory training for all law enforcement officers.
A legislative hearing in Austin will address the topic on Tuesday.
It’s estimated that one out of three police calls in Texas involve interaction with a dog. So confronting/containing animals result in a big part of an officer’s daily work, but some say not a big enough part of their training.
It’s a video Quinton Tatum refuses to watch. “It’s too painful,” he said.
An East Texas family has a Facebook page devoted to Justice for Candy Middleton. The Middleton family dog, Candy, was shot and killed in 2014 by a sheriff’s deputy who considered the animal to be a threat.
As it stands law enforcement training for dealing with animals is very limited to pretty much non-existent.
Elaine Munch is among a coalition of animal rights activist’s lobbying for a bill in Austin that would require all law enforcement officers to undergo canine encounter training.
Tatum is all for it. “I would love to see it passed,” he said. “So nobody else will have to go through what I went through.”
Tatum’s family is still upset the officer who shot their dog wasn’t punished. They now have a new four-legged addition to their home and hope what happened will lead to change.
“Training for a first step… that’s a big first step, because it helps the officer understand dogs more.”
Current police and law enforcement officials would be grandfathered into the bill if it becomes law. The curriculum for the training would come from the state’s law enforcement licensing board.
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