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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sad story. I wonder what is the liability on the part of the police department.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news...0,3864608,print.story?coll=orl-home-headlines

May 15, 2006

WINTER SPRINGS -- A Winter Springs police officer shot a Rottweiler on Sunday when he answered a call at the wrong house, authorities said.

Police were called to 147 Hayes Road in Winter Springs when a residential alarm went off. Officers thought, by the location of the house on Hayes and Marlin roads, that they were at the correct home, authorities said. But instead, they were at 601 Marlin Road.

Officers started checking the home's exterior doors and found a back sliding-glass door unlocked. They entered the home, announced they were police and were met by a large Rottweiler.

As the officers backed out of the home, the dog "approached the officers aggressively, and the officer was compelled to shoot the Rottweiller due to its close proximity to them," a written statement said.

Amy C. Rippel, Gary Taylor, Erika Hobbs and Sandra Pedicini of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.
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They'll certainly end up paying for the dog. Suffer quite a bit of bad press. It's doubtful any criminal action will be taken against the officers, however there was certainly a miscommunication somewhere. Probably a policy violation of some sort. Someone should have double checked the address. Having said all that, they need to be thankful a homeowner didn't stumble in with a pistol, thinking he was being invaded. It could have taken a considerably more drastic turn of events.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The article mentioned the police entered through an unlocked sliding glass door. People should lock their doors. Maybe this wouldn't have happened, not that I am blaming the home-owner, not by a long shot.

If I was a betting man I would wager that the officer who fired the gun may have been premature. However, I readily acknowledge that I was not there and I might be 110% WRONG. The article mentioned the dog approached aggressively, but that doesn't necessarily equate to an outright attack. Regardless, I can certainly understand the anxiety the officer may have felt when this Rotweiller came at him. Again, maybe the dog was charging with froth coming out of the mouth and bared teeth. And maybe not. Maybe the officer misread the dog. It is my understanding that the percentage of civilian owned dogs that will attack a human on sight and without provocation are exceedingly low. This dog may have simply been bluffing the officer as many will do.

Don't misunderstand. I am not criticizing the officer. I am merely speculating that it is possible and from a numbers standpoint "probable" that the dog was not in the act of attacking the officer. Then again, I might be completely and totally wrong. It's always easy to sit back and second guess from the comfort of an office chair.
 

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Patrick, I can understand what you saying, but telling someone who may not be a dog person, that the Rotty comming towards you aggresively, probably wont bite, is a losing situation for sombody.
 

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Patrick Murray said:
If I was a betting man I would wager that the officer who fired the gun may have been premature. However, I readily acknowledge that I was not there and I might be 110% WRONG. The article mentioned the dog approached aggressively, but that doesn't necessarily equate to an outright attack. Regardless, I can certainly understand the anxiety the officer may have felt when this Rotweiller came at him. Again, maybe the dog was charging with froth coming out of the mouth and bared teeth. And maybe not. Maybe the officer misread the dog. It is my understanding that the percentage of civilian owned dogs that will attack a human on sight and without provocation are exceedingly low. This dog may have simply been bluffing the officer as many will do.

Don't misunderstand. I am not criticizing the officer. I am merely speculating that it is possible and from a numbers standpoint "probable" that the dog was not in the act of attacking the officer. Then again, I might be completely and totally wrong. It's always easy to sit back and second guess from the comfort of an office chair.
good stuff patrick. you'd think you were an officer and not DFrost from the last two posts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tim, I'm not sure I get your point. I'm just saying that I can understand why the dog was shot but that it is also quite possible that the dog was not charging the officer to attack. A non-dog person could easily misread it. On the other hand, just to reiterate, perhaps the dog was coming in full blast to rip out the officer's throat. We'll never know. I can only speculate from the officer's perspective that he has been sent to a possible burglary, the sliding door is left open (thus fueling the officer's suspicion) and once inside and after having announced their (two officers) presence, an aggressive Rotweiller comes at the officer(s). For all the officer knew there might have been a bad man with a gun coming next.

It's an unfortunate string of unlikely events. The officers are sent or arrive at the wrong residence, the sliding door is unlocked and nobody is home except the dog. It's unfortunate.

My whole point was a dog that will attack a non-aggressive human on sight has to be in a very, very small minority. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. If so, please correct me. Either this dog was one of those rare cases or the officer misread the dog.

I'm going to guess that some dog-savvy police officers and K-9 handlers have been able to save dogs in similar circumstances simply because they could read the dog and had a desire to save it. But those don't make the headlines.
 

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:cry: It is always sad if any innocent is hurt, or even killed in the line of Police work, most regrettable. However, it happens, and it has, and I am sure will again. Just like the postal worker getting it wrong sometimes and you end up with someone’s mail, our call centers get it wrong, the people in the squad car get it wrong, and then things go wrong. Talking from experience, here it has happened to me. However I did not shoot the dog, I ran like hell and jumped a six-foot wall like an Olympic athlete.

Well as they say, hindsight is an exact science: The truth of the matter is very few dogs, and contrary to common belief, will attack if the owner is not on the premises, trained or not. They will put up a real show, but will not get physical. You can argue this all you like, I have seen it and have had to test it, under essential circumstances, if you are pumping adrenaline, the dogs backs off – they smell it apparently.

With Rotties, Pit bull, Great Danes, and Boerboel, I won’t take a chance to find out – I will shoot if I see them coming charging, right or wrong address. They are like the great whites; they don’t take names…and are known for defensive and aggressive behaviour. :wink:

Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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I used to live in Winter Springs and let me tell you, those LEOs are NOT the sharpest knives in the drawer. They pulled me over, once, for "speeding" when they suddenly realized that they read the 35 as a 53! I just wanted to say "Why the hell would I go 53 in a neighborhood RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!???" :eek: :roll:
 

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Patrick Murray said:
Tim, I'm not sure I get your point.
my point was simply that i appreciated you not wanting jump in and criticize or make statements about policy violations when all you had to go on was a newspaper article. the opinions that you did give were prefaced with a disclaimer. i was merely applauding your post...
 

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Sarah Hall said:
I used to live in Winter Springs and let me tell you, those LEOs are NOT the sharpest knives in the drawer. They pulled me over, once, for "speeding" when they suddenly realized that they read the 35 as a 53! I just wanted to say "Why the hell would I go 53 in a neighborhood RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!???" :eek: :roll:
The whole department pulled you over? QUOTE: I used to live in Winter Springs and let me tell you, those LEOs are NOT the sharpest knives in the drawer. END

JKY..... I know you didn't mean the plural. :lol: :lol:
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
Sarah Hall said:
I used to live in Winter Springs and let me tell you, those LEOs are NOT the sharpest knives in the drawer. They pulled me over, once, for "speeding" when they suddenly realized that they read the 35 as a 53! I just wanted to say "Why the hell would I go 53 in a neighborhood RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!???" :eek: :roll:
The whole department pulled you over? QUOTE: I used to live in Winter Springs and let me tell you, those LEOs are NOT the sharpest knives in the drawer. END

JKY..... I know you didn't mean the plural. :lol: :lol:
well done connie...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tim Martens said:
Patrick Murray said:
i was merely applauding your post...
Gotcha Tim. And in that case, thank you.

On another note, people in general are quick to criticize the police when things go south. Sometimes the criticism is fair and many times it isn't. The average civilian, people like me, are not qualified to critique an officer's performance in a given situation. If this matter didn't relate to dogs I naturally wouldn't have posted or commented.
 

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Tim, I could have taken the stance and staunchly defended the actions of the police. I figured when the question was asked they wanted an honest answer from those that responded. I could have gone on in detail about the adrenalin rush, and how officers put thier life on the line. I could have stuck with party line and stated how tragic an affair this was, but things like this happen. I chose not to do that. Reading the same article as everyone else involved I gave an honest response anwering the main question of the original poster. That being: <<<Sad story. I wonder what is the liability on the part of the police department>>>

DFrost
 

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David Frost said:
Tim, I could have taken the stance and staunchly defended the actions of the police. I figured when the question was asked they wanted an honest answer from those that responded. I could have gone on in detail about the adrenalin rush, and how officers put thier life on the line. I could have stuck with party line and stated how tragic an affair this was, but things like this happen. I chose not to do that. Reading the same article as everyone else involved I gave an honest response anwering the main question of the original poster. That being: <<<Sad story. I wonder what is the liability on the part of the police department>>>

DFrost
you just stated two extremes. one being the stance you chose to take: criticize and talk about "policy violations" and the other being the one you described in your post (staunchly defending the actions of the police). there is a middle ground. actually something similar to what patrick posted would be a nice example of that. the point being i wouldn't take either extreme with the small amount of info that newspaper article provided.

wondering what the liability would be doesn't include talk of "policy violations". it's pretty much a given the department would have to pay for the dog and probably a little extra for their troubles.

i know i wouldn't want to be judged on my actions based on a newspaper article, especially by other law enforcement professionals who should know better...
 

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Well, this has turned ugly.

Here is something to consider. There are an awful lot of cops in America. Some departments require a degree to be a police officer. I have taken these classes, and quite honestly, it requires about the same amount of thought process to ACE these classes as it does to watch paint dry.

This should make it rather obvious, that there will be a few, or more than a few cops that are just plain dumb.

And in closing, I am NOT directing my opinions towards any of our cops here on this board, they appear more than capable to do the job.

As far as shooting the dog, I wouldn't, but I know I have a 99% chance that I can close a sliding door. I figure 1% for slippage. What a tard that cop must be. HA/HA idiot!!!!



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********* MODERATOR NOTE: ************


Yes, it turned ugly, and Jeff, thanks for crankin' it up. :evil:

WE DON'T KNOW THE STORY. WE don't know JACK about this.

We know what the local paper chose to write, and THAT's IT.

Wondering about liability is not an invitation to personally bash anyone.
 

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Tim, you can certainly view this and my answer anyway you like. That's why we have discussions. I would again point out, I was answering the question posed by the original poster, that of liability. I wasn't being critical, I was merely pointing out the facts, as purported by the accompanying article.

According to the article:

Fact: They entered the wrong house.

Why is suppostion. Either they were dispatched to the wrong address or the officers read the address incorrectly.

Fact: they killed the dog.

Supposition; the dog advanced in an aggressive manner. Personally I'll take thier (the officers) word for it, they were there, I was not.

I'm merely looking at the facts, and being familiar with similar incidents, (I did say mistakes happen), bad press will follow, regardless of the explanation, they will end up paying for the dog. There will be a review of why this happened, re; dispatch or misread of the address, and what can be done to prevent it.

This isn't the first time an incident of this nature has happened. Probably won't be the last. My answer, again, was merely directed at the original poster that asked, what would the departments liability be. While there has been some good discussion, no one really bothered to answer that particular question. Critical, no sir, merely stating an answer to a specific question.

DFrost
 

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my whole thing is that there are so many variables involved in any "standard" call for service and this article talks about 2 or 3 of them.

things to consider that weren't mentioned in the article:

1) i have the luxury of working in a city that is about 95% urban. well marked streets, clearly visible numbers on the houses, etc. the jurisdiction in question could be 95% rural. they could have parked a couple houses away on Hayes say 131 Hayes (for non-LEO it is a standard procedure to NOT park directly in front of the house/business you are dispatched to for officer safety reasons). they walk past 139 Hayes and walk upto what they think is 147 Hayes which is at the corner of hayes/marlin. again, this corner house might not have any numbers on it. they check the perimeter and find the open door.

2) did they make an announcement into the building before searching it? say they did and it's an old dog that is deaf so it doesn't react, but then reacts when it SEES them. ok. re-read the article and it said they did indeed make an annoucement. so taking the article's facts as being true, the next question would be where were they when they made the announcement? in the threshold, outside of it, fully in the house? it would be a given that they had their guns drawn during the announcement, so if they were fully inside and dog didn't have a long way to run, that re-holstering and using something else like a taser or OC would be out of the question.

3) did they have any background on the house from the alarm company going to the call? sometimes when an alarm company calls us they will tell us that there are no pets on the premises or that the homeowner has a dog. if they were in there thinking there were no dogs, seeing a large rotty running toward them could be quite a shock to the senses.

these are just a few of the variables that the article doesn't mention. our business is not black and white. there are infinate shades of gray for most calls.

jeff, as for your smartass comments....a degree is relatively useless in determining someones capacity to do law enforcement. we have washed out plenty of people with degrees from everything from electrical engineering to criminal justice (and we've washed out people from successful tech job backgrounds who got laid off during the dotcom bust). so you trying to dis-credit a criminal justice degree only shows your ignorance about what we do. no, it's not rocket science, but it requires a skillset that not everyone possesses.
 
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Darn, if I get attacked by a dog while inside somebody else's premises, there may be no other intruder in that premises except me myself... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Just kidding...
 
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