MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis police recruits are the first to be exposed to training on how to handle calls when dogs are present.
The new training came about after a shooting in north Minneapolis where an officer shot two dogs. Minneapolis police say it’s heard from the community, and it wanted to help make sure officers had the proper training on how to handle calls when dogs are present.
Only on WCCO, Reg Chapman has more on this training program.
The sound and sight of two dogs in their own yard being shot by a Minneapolis police officer sparked more than anger. It brought about change.
“After the tragic event that happened in north Minneapolis we didn’t attack the police department. It wasn’t an ‘us and them.’ It was this is our community, what can we do together to make it a better place,” Shannon Glenn said.
Glenn, executive director of My Pit Bull is Family, says she knew the only way to address this issue was to provide training for officers.
“We’re rolling it out to our recruit academy. It’s our first go and we want them to take the streets having this training and from this training presentation we will draft training that we’ll roll out to the rest of the department,” Commander Troy Schoenberger with the Minneapolis Police Department said.
My Pit Bull is Family brought in a nationally known trainer to teach new recruits how to handle calls where dogs are present.
“When the department of justice gets involved and their study shows that over 10,000 animals are killed by law enforcement every year, that is an epidemic,” Humane Ofricer J. Scott Hill said.
Hill, a former police officer and current humane officer, says 85 percent of Americans have companion animals. And with numbers like that, it’s important officers learn the definition of animal control, how to read a dog’s body language and the different tools and tactics that can be used to preserve life.
“How we approach our community with respect to protect them, to protect their property, we want to make sure police officers have that understanding. Policing with procedural justice,” Schoenberger said.
The goal is to make sure everyone involved in a police call goes home safely, including the family pet. My Pit Bull is Family is offering the training to Minneapolis police at no cost to the department or city.
It hopes to spread this training across the Twin Cities metro as well as across the state. MPD is also partnering with Patrol on Line to develop online training to officers across the state.