Cops have lengthy partnered with canine, claiming they assist hold officers protected. However a research printed in January means that police just do as effectively with out canine colleagues.
In 2020, Salt Lake Metropolis suspended using police K9 items after The Salt Lake Tribune printed physique digicam footage of an officer ordering his canine to chew a 36-year-old black man who was on his knees along with his palms within the air. That abrupt coverage shift gave researchers on the College of South Carolina, the College of Utah, and Clemson College an opportunity to check claims about the advantages of police canine.
Police say canine assist discover hidden suspects, deter resistance, shield officers, intimidate probably violent crowds, and enhance public relations. However the researchers, who reported their findings within the Journal of Experimental Criminology, discovered that the “sudden suspension of K9 apprehension was not related to a statistical improve in officer or suspect damage, or suspect resistance, throughout felony arrests.” The authors concluded that limiting or eliminating police K9s is “unlikely to influence combination officer or suspect security negatively.”
These outcomes contradict extensively accepted assumptions. “There’s a nice conviction throughout the regulation enforcement K9 group that these applications present simpler policing by growing officer security, decreasing suspect damage, and deterring suspect resistance,” the researchers wrote. “We weren’t capable of detect any such impact on any measure.”
There’s ample proof, nonetheless, of what occurs when police canine are misused. In a March report on constitutional violations by police in Louisville, Kentucky, the U.S. Justice Division described a number of incidents by which officers sicced canine on compliant or nonthreatening suspects. In a single case, an officer trying to find a house invasion suspect found a 14-year-old boy mendacity face down on the bottom and instantly “deployed his canine off-leash” with out “giving any warning.” The officer “ordered the canine to chew the teenager at the very least seven instances,” inflicting “critical accidents on his arm and again.”
Whereas some police departments hardly ever use K9s, a 2020 Marshall Venture investigation discovered, others deploy them routinely. From 2017 by way of 2019, Indianapolis police canine bit folks as soon as each 5 days.
Among the many “less-than-lethal” instruments to subdue suspects, police canine are one of the violent and unpredictable. “A canine chewed on an Indiana man’s neck for 30 seconds, puncturing his trachea and slicing his carotid artery,” The Marshall Venture reported.
Police canine should not solely liable to abuse but additionally laborious to regulate even after intensive coaching and exorbitantly costly to coach and kennel. They need to be transferred to extra productive professions, corresponding to chasing squirrels and defending backyards.