Assemblymember Nazarian and LA City Councilmember Koretz Join Activists to Promote Police-Canine Training

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dogs

AB 1199 Requires Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to Develop and Implement Training for Peace Officers Regarding Encounters with Dogs

(Van Nuys, CA) Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Councilmember Paul Koretz, and Judie Mancuso, Founder and President of Social Compassion in Legislation, flanked by dogs, puppies, and the families who love them, celebrated the passage of Assembly Bill 1199 from the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The legislation requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop and implement training for peace officers regarding encounters with dogs.

"Police officers want this training and dog owners want this training, it's a win-win for everyone" stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. "Police officers without proper training are too often stuck in a terrible lose-lose situation. We need to proactively train police officers to ensure that they feel safe, and our family dogs are safe."

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz is championing better training statewide for peace officers encountering dogs. He submitted a resolution calling on the City Council to support Nazarian’s bill.

“Dealing with dogs without discharging firearms should be a standard part of law enforcement training,” Koretz said.  “Here, in Los Angeles, we’re blessed not to suffer a rash of these incidents, but one is too many and the training can help to reduce the number statewide.”

Tragically, it is estimated that every ninety-eight minutes a dog is shot by law enforcement in the United States. This is a devastating situation for both the family and for the police officer involved.

The Police-Canine Encounters Protection Act (AB 1199) training will include:

  • Understanding the behavior and body language of dogs
  • Tactical considerations and best practices during encounters involving dogs
  • Safe and appropriate use of non-lethal force in handling dog encounters

Police officers are likely to encounter dogs on one out of every three house calls due to the vast number of pets, guard dogs, and strays living in communities nationwide. According to a U.S. Department of Justice estimate, police officers shoot and kill more than 10,000 pet dogs in the U.S. every year.

AB 1199 will help curb the epidemic of preventable dog shootings and equip officers with the tools and techniques necessary for safe handling of, and appropriate use of force against dogs. Being able to quickly discern between dangerous situations and salvageable ones will help diffuse these encounters so that officers can simultaneously protect citizens, beloved family pets, and themselves.

“Sadly, a dog is shot every 98 minutes by a police officer in the United States. When voted into law, AB 1199, the Police Canine Encounters Protection Act, will require mandatory in-service canine encounter training to California peace officers on how to both quickly and safely respond to unexpected situations when encountering a dog,” said Judie Mancuso, President of Social Compassion In Legislation. “The public has long been demanding canine encounter training, and that time has come.”

"Law Enforcement Officers need to be protected from aggressive dogs in their daily encounters. Oftentimes, they do not know what they are going to be confronted with when arriving on scene. AB1199 will provide the training needed to protect both the officers and the animals in our communities", said Henry Brzezinski, Legislative Chair of the California Animal Control Directors Association.

POST currently has a two-hour training DVD available to officers: Dog Encounters: Keeping Officers Safe. However, viewing the DVD is not mandatory, and there is no data available about how many officers take the training.

Below are links to background information and the bill language for additional information:

CONTACT: Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian
Contact: Brian Stedge
Phone: (646) 469-3808
Email: brian.stedge@asm.ca.gov

Councilmember Paul Koretz
Contact: Cheryl Getuiza
Phone: (213) 505-8420
Email: cheryl.getuiza@lacity.org