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It is indeed sad. While I'm not usually quick to judge and he will have his day in court, if it happened the way it's reported I hope he gets what's coming to him.

DFrost
 

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Anyone know anything more about this story one way or the other (other than the dog looks like a Malinois and not a GSD)?

http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_150213450.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/459/story/123669.html

Sad...


http://www.miamiherald.com/460/story/123973.html

And this one a few articles down the page: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/crazy_for_critters/

QUOTE: May 30, 2007
K9 Cop Busted; Charged With Killing His Partner
Nearly a year ago, a high-ranking Miami-Dade K9 officer's dog died during a training exercise. Although the incident report said that Sgt. Allen Cockfield tried to save his dog, anonymous e-mails began circulating almost immediately telling another story: that Cockfield had kicked his 4-year-old German shepherd, Duke, to death in a fit of rage.

He was finally charged today with animal cruelty and killing a police dog. Through his lawyer, he denied the charges. Click here for the story. http://www.miamiherald.com/459/story/123669.html

I did a lot of reporting on this case last year, much of which didn't make it into the story as you'll see it on the website or in tomorrow's Herald because of limited space, so I'll share some of it here:

"Miami-Dade Police Department's first two K9s joined the department in 1972 and were assigned to detect explosives at Miami International Airport.
There are now 14: eight Belgian Malinois, four German shepherds, a bloodhound, a Dutch shepherd, and a Belgian Tervuren used for drug, explosives, and human-remains detection, suspect searches, and trailing.

Duke was one of three dogs that the department requisitioned in late 2005. He cost $8,500 and was delivered on Feb. 25, 2006, by Tony Guzman of Metro-Dade Canine Services in the Redland, a long-time dog vendor to the county and other South Florida departments.

Duke was trained for ''felony apprehension and would have eventually cross-trained for explosives,'' according to police spokesman Roy Rutland. He was the fourth dog assigned to Cockfield in 21 years.

The day he died, Duke was training at Range 3, a grassy area at the training bureau. The activies were ''obedience control work,'' according to Rutland. ''No decoy or biting with suits or sleeves'' were being used.

Tissue samples from the dead dog were sent to a Antech Diagnostics, a laboratory on Long Island.

Following Duke's death, an anonymous e-mail was sent to various county agencies, animal-welfare organizations and media outlets, alleging that Cockfield had killed his dog and describing in detail what the writer said happened that day.

''Duke was on a leash at his partner's side. He barked at a time when his partner, Sgt. Cockfield, did not want him to. He was then strung up by his neck and kicked repeatedly. Duke let out a prolonged yelping cry, shook and went
limp. When put down on the ground he died IMMEDIATELY.''

Russ Hess is executive director of the USPCA: United States Police Dog Association. The retired chief of the Jackson Township (Ohio) Police Department spent 15 years as a K9 handler.

''The only reason to kick a dog is self-preservation, if a dog is attacking the handler,'' said Hess. ''If it's out of control trying to hurt the handler, it's the same as if [the handler] is fighting a person. But as a training method, I don't see that.''
END partial QUOTE from
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/crazy_for_critters/
 

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You just don't want to believe something like that can happen with a senior handler.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The article in your first link says Malinois. :p
Some of the earlier articles I had read said German shepherd...though in the video from the first article I posted, I head the classic "Belgian Malinoys." :roll:
 

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Sad if it is true. No doubt they will be looking at his history with the other three dogs that he handled to see if it was a trend. Twenty-one years as a handler.....when burn out or stress leads anyone to take it out on those around them (two-legged or four-legged)....then it is definitely time to retire rather then tarnish the badge :-x
 

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I agree with you Lacey. Unfortunately, there are handlers in the both the law enforcement and civillian sector (we both know one) that mistreat their dogs during training, i.e. too much force and compulsion. It sometimes borders on abuse. There is a huge difference between compulsive correction and abuse. Kinda like disciplining your kids as opposed to beating them. There is a fine line. Sometimes, you just have to walk away, count to ten, and take a couple deep breaths and clear your head before you do something that you will regret. Stress on the job may be a reason, but it is no excuse. I hope this guy didn't do what has been alleged, but if he did... I agree with David Frost. ~Justin
 

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I don't condone abuse of any kind but I have not heard this officer's side of the story so I held judgement. Curious as to:

"e-mails began circulating" - some departments (not unlike the civilian sector) have some cut-throat officers in them.....they will do and say anything to get someone elses job. If I saw abuse of any kind on the job or off the job...I confronted the person face to face and I'd be damned if I would have stood by and watched what is alleged to have happened only to start circulating e-mails after the fact. If what is alleged is true...then I doubt very much if this was the first time his partner were subjected to this type of abuse - or the first time that someone witnessed the abuse in a K-9 Unit as large as this one or a department as large as this one. If this officer is found quilty then there should be a few more officers that should be held accountable for failure to report.
 

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I don't condone abuse of any kind but I have not heard this officer's side of the story so I held judgement. Curious as to:

"e-mails began circulating" - some departments (not unlike the civilian sector) have some cut-throat officers in them.....they will do and say anything to get someone elses job. If I saw abuse of any kind on the job or off the job...I confronted the person face to face and I'd be damned if I would have stood by and watched what is alleged to have happened only to start circulating e-mails after the fact. If what is alleged is true...then I doubt very much if this was the first time his partner were subjected to this type of abuse - or the first time that someone witnessed the abuse in a K-9 Unit as large as this one or a department as large as this one. If this officer is found quilty then there should be a few more officers that should be held accountable for failure to report.
+1. i heard about this a few days before it was posted here. congrats for not joining the "rush to judgment" lacey. while it certainly looks bad from the outside, like you said, we haven't heard the officer's side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tim and Lacey, that's why I asked if anyone knew anything else about this as everyone deserves to have their side heard. However, it is sad and very unjust if everyone covers up for him if he did indeed hang and kick the dog, causing its death. The dog did die, right? That's somewhat unlikely that it would just drop of its own accord, congenital heart problem aside.
 

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Tim and Lacey, that's why I asked if anyone knew anything else about this as everyone deserves to have their side heard. However, it is sad and very unjust if everyone covers up for him if he did indeed hang and kick the dog, causing its death. The dog did die, right? That's somewhat unlikely that it would just drop of its own accord, congenital heart problem aside.
nobody's talking about covering anything up. the other side of the coin is this: this wasn't his first dog. what if he was doing something he had done many, many times with his other dog, under the supervision of the department trainer and this dog because of it's health problems, couldn't take it. lord knows i've hung my dog. 100% of the time it was for handler aggression. if for some reason, a health problem with the dog contributed to the death for an action he had performed on previous dogs, do his actions constitute criminal negligence? i don't know. it's a tough call and certainly not as cut and dried as some PETA members would have you think...
 

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that would be the question for me. What was the dog doing to make him hang it up? If the dog was coming up the leash, then something drastic should have been done. If he was correcting that harshly for a routine obedience error, that's a different story. None of the articles have been very clear as to what prompted the incident, but it would seem that a man who had successfully handled four dogs over a 21 year career would be better than that.
 

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IF it truely happened as the article stated then hang HIM from the nearest tree.
Still, the one thing I try and keep to the forefront is that reports in the news/web/etc have a way of "evolving" to sell the news. Not necessarily factual. Let's wait and see!
 

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I agree Maren and understand completely that you were just inquiring as to whether anyone had more information on this incident. I just happened to voice my opinion, not necessarily directed at you, that no one is above the law but even cops are innocent until proven otherwise....the "story" is out so there is no cover-up. I doubt very much, unless someone knows this officer personally and or professionally that we will hear his side of the story until his day in court. Either way (innocent or guilty)....life as he once knew it will no longer exist.

Hopefully the outcome will be posted...no doubt the media will be present in the courtroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've never hung my dogs in "training" (unless you count outing on a non-slip collar), but I have had to for occasional behavior clients (and one of my own dogs once after biting me), but that's for very serious infractions like the client's dog tries to all out attack me or my dog. But if what was said on the previous page was true that the dog just barked at a time when the officer didn't want him to and then got subsequently hung and kicked, that's just way overboard. I'm not a particularly soft trainer nor a particular good one :lol: but the old von Stephanitz quote rings true about the handler asking themselves how am I at fault when the dog does something "wrong" or doesn't understand. Granted, it may be embarrassing for the officer if he's a seasoned handler and his dog makes a mistake, so I can understand having a little bit of a volatile temper as I can have one too, but yikes. JMHO. :) But yes, Lacey, I'm interested to see how this plays out.
 

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All I can say is I hope he NEVER becomes a K9 Handler at any other Police Department in the Country. Obviously (and Thankfully) he is done in Miami/Dade as he should be.

If 6 of the 10 officers saw the incident and said something, I think it must have been so blatant that they could not have held it back to bring down one of their own. The other 4 were probably digging into come Dunkin' Donuts and couldn't comment being in front of a glazed..........

If he is found guilty then they should string his A** up and let a Patrol dog have at him for a 'lil while. -That will probably cure his "handling" issues as I think that this guy is a piece of garbage if he is guilty.
 
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