The train-the-trainer Canine Encounters: Defensive Tactics class is scheduled for October 10th and 11th, 2016 at the City of Meridian Public Safety Training Facility and will be open to regional law enforcement agencies and Department of Corrections training officers.
In speaking with officers, command staff and law enforcement educators, it became apparent that our officers receive no training on this topic at academy level. No guidelines in how to differentiate between distance creating behavior and true aggression, how to de-escalate their dog encounters; how to use the less lethal tools already available to them with confidence and still keep themselves and others from injury. At agency level, whether or not officers receive training and guidelines depends on an agency leader's training priorities and the agency’s training budget. Some Idaho agencies are appropriated as little as $500/year for training purposes.
2014 and 2015 saw a 10 year old Georgia boy shot in the knee, a 4 year old Ohio girl shot in the thigh, a 34 year old Iowa mother shot and killed in the presence of her husband and child, officers shooting themselves and each other. On a national level, 2015 also saw record amount of damages awarded, officers being criminally charged, losing their jobs and even being stripped of their qualified immunity status.
Idaho had some very concerning incidents as well, with a dog shot outside the bedroom of a small boy during a birthday party, a family van being shot, another dog shot within feet of a toddler and his mother, and yet another dog shot inside his owner’s vehicle…, not to mention that Idaho settled 2 dog shooting lawsuits for $115,000 recently. Idaho’s law enforcement community agrees that this is a public safety concern, has voted to amend the Patrol Officer Academy curriculum and is supportive of these training classes.
I had the opportunity to attend 2 of the classes alongside Idaho Patrol and Animal Control Officers, Probation and Parole Officers, Fish and Game Officers, SWAT Officers and Command staff, a Chief of Police and an Undersheriff, members of the Idaho Asa County Prosecutor's Office and HSUS etc. The feedback received is overwhelmingly positive with comments such as “long overdue”.
Please donate and help fund these classes for the benefit of our communities, our pets and our officers. Thank You!