February 17, 2020Animal Law & Policy ProgramResolution on animal training for police officers passes
In most police departments in the United States, the top reason an officer fires their weapon is to shoot at a dog, according to a Department of Justice study cited in the report accompanying a resolution that was adopted today.
The American Bar Association has adopted a Resolution urging legislation to provide police animal encounter training in order to reduce the unnecessary use of lethal force against animals–which also harms families, police officers themselves, and innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire.
The Resolution was drafted by Animal Law & Policy Program’s Executive Director, Chris Green, who presented it to the full 600-member House of Delegates.
Speaking in favor of Resolution 103A, Green, who is the former chair of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Animal Law Committee, said shootings of animals increase the risk of police officers accidentally shooting innocent bystanders, including children, as well as the legal liability for governments that may need to settle with victims’ families.
“When things go wrong, the physical, emotional, legal and financial consequences can be catastrophic,” he said.
Green added that when states like Texas and cities like Chicago promoted nonlethal animal encounter training programs, they significantly reduced unnecessary accidents involving police officers and animals.
You can read more in the ABA Journal.