COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho.-- The Coeur d’Alene Police Chief announced Thursday that all of his officers will be required to undergo training for dog encounters. The department was flooded with threats after an officer fatally shot a black lab earlier in July.
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark said he was unable to find specialized police training for officers who encounter dogs while on duty. Instead, officers will receive video based training through the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Training law enforcement in dog encounters is crucial” said Chief Clark. “I am not saying officers should compromise safety, but understanding dog behavior and having nonlethal options will reduce the number of lethal incidents that are a tragedy for all involved.”
READ: Lunging “pit bull” fatally shot by Coeur d’Alene officer was a black lab
The training is mandatory for all officers in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. The department said it teaches them how to read a dog’s body language and how their approach can affect a dog’s behavior.
In the program, officers learn to read a dog’s body language and recognize a scared dog verses a dangerous dog. The videos teach officers how their approach can affect a dog’s behavior. Officers learn to assess their surroundings, the risk to themselves and the dog’s body language. The Police Department is committed to this education effort.