Police shootings of dogs in metro Atlanta received some significant treatment when Channel 2 Action News investigated and released a story on dog shootings in the metro Atlanta area. During their investigation they found nearly 100 dog shootings by police during the past 2 years alone. In every case the officer was exonerated.
When I heard about the recent dog shooting case in Cobb County, I took to the presses. I’ve written two stories about the incident here and here and got a lot of positive feedback from the owner of Luke who was shot and the group supporting his effort to get more training for police officers in metro Atlanta.
While Channel 2 did say that officer training on dog behavior is key to reduce these incidents, they reported that Cobb County started training their officers this year on how to interact with and respond to dogs appropriately. Unfortunately, they did not say when this training began and what percentage of their police force has been trained so far. Did Cobb County just start this training in response to the killing of Luke or did the training program start before that incident? I would like to know because if Cobb officers, especially the one involved in this shooting, were trained in how to identify aggressive dog behavior then maybe the training is lacking or not taken seriously.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Training is key in preventing the incidents from occurring. It is good to know that Cobb County is now requiring their officers to be trained, but there are still lingering questions about that training. Hopefully the answers will be uncovered sooner rather than later and hopefully other metro Atlanta counties will follow suit and have their officers trained as well.