Believed to be the first bill in the United States to propose formal police training on how to best handle dogs in law enforcement situations, Sen. David Balmer and Sen. Lucia Guzman announced plans on Friday in Denver to introduce legislation which would require police officers to take a two-hour training course.
Several recent cases of dogs allegedly having been wrongfully killed by police officers have attracted national attention.
According to the Denver Post, Gary Branson, one of the dog's owners whose chocolate Labrador retriever, Chloe was shot five times and killed on Nov. 24, 2012 by a Commerce city police officer, plans to speak about the deep emotional toll the loss of his dog has brought upon his family's life. Chloe was a therapy dog-well known in the neighborhood for being kind and gentle. She was a very important part of his family. The officer who shot Chloe has been charged with felony animal cruelty.
The course will be designed to teach officers how dogs behave and how to assess the difference between barking dogs and dogs who are threatening an officer's safety or well-being.
The legislation will also require police and sheriff deputies to attend an hour annual follow-up training session, and require police departments to adopt new policies including one which would allow owners to handle their pets before police action. Exceptions would include dangerous dog calls or violent crimes.
The Facebook page Justice for Chloe continues to advocate awareness and to bring justice for the death of this dog.
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