LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Social Compassion In Legislation (SCIL), a leading California-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to finding solutions for the welfare, protection, and rights of animals, has sponsored a new bill AB 1199, referred to as the "Police-Canine Encounters Protection Act" authored by California Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian, 46th District.
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.
"AB 1199 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. This invaluable training will give them the tools to protect themselves as well as the life of a treasured canine family member," said Judie Mancuso, president of Social Compassion In Legislation.
The Police-Canine Encounters Protection Act 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
- Supplementary training two years after the original training
"Police officers want this training and dog owners want this training, it's a win-win for everyone," stated Assembly Member 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."
Encouraged by states such as Texas and Colorado, and other jurisdictions that have successfully mandated similar training, SCIL expects dog shooting statistics in California to reduce once the bill becomes law and training is implemented. Here are some other important facts:
- There are approximately 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States.
- Dogs are likely to be encountered in thirty-nine percent of residential locations.
- Facts show that the numbers of dog bites are down, but lethal force is still needlessly used when there are alternatives.
- The killing or injuring of a dog also opens the officer and the department to lawsuits and other legal actions.
- Lawsuits against law enforcement agencies are on the rise, awarding significant settlements to owners/guardians of killed dogs.
- Information furnished by various California law enforcement agencies indicated that at least one-half of all intentional discharges of a firearm by an officer from involved animals.
"Both police officers and dog guardians have flooded social media in response to the continuing, but avoidable, tragic dog shootings. The public has been demanding canine encounter training, and that time has come," said Simone Reyes, Vice President, Social Compassion in Legislation.
SOURCE Social Compassion in Legislation