There’s a follow up to the story about which I posted yesterday, about a police dog in Edgerton, Wisconsin that bit a police officer and a city worker, but was nevertheless kept in service by Edgerton’s public safety committee. Sensibly, Edgerton’s city council voted unanimously last night to send the dog back to the kennel that it came from. See, Edgerton Puts Collar on K-9 Program.
Edgerton’s city council made the right and proper decision, one that Edgerton’s police chief should have made on his own, and one that the public safety committee should have made.
In my post yesterday, entitled, On Edgerton, Wisconsin’s Police Dog, I pointed out how foolish it was to allow a dog that twice bit people without command to continue in service.
Dogs like this aren’t pets, and they’re far more powerful than most dog breeds. They’re trained to assist police officers, and help protect innocent people. They’re not something to show off, or walk around as a prized pet. They’re working dogs, and they are trained to help officers, not to be spoiled. Many officers rely for their safety on dogs like this, and they must be able to trust them at all times. (Trustworthy police dogs are rightly liked and praised for their service. They deserve the best care that a dog can get, appropriate to their roles.)
There’s nothing good to say about a police leader who knows a police dog twice bit someone without command, and still wants to keep the dog around. Leaders are expected to protect officers under their command, and the citizens those officers are sworn to protect. That doesn’t include ignoring a biting dog, or doing more than saying one feels sorry about it, “since day one.” (That’s day one, as in the day when the undisciplined dog bit an office worker without provocation or command.)
The expected course isn’t to feel sorry, but to act, from “day one.”
The citizens of Edgerton, Wisconsin can thank their city council for doing the right thing last night.