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  #11  
Old 02-03-2012
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Getting too old Getting too old is offline
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There is also the big city/small town thing to consider. My first city was 10 sq mi and a population of 37,000. My second was 3.5 sq mi and 8,000 and my current is 4.5 sq mi and 24,000. We have no alleys, and nobody has ever caught a dog fight in progress. They did bust a guy who had a purpose built cock fighting barn in plain sight on his property (moron), and I did find the leg of a fighting cock in a field about 15 years ago. I once located a text book dog fighters yard once, Pits in each corner staked by dog houses, but the guy absconded before I could ever contact him.

On drug raids or the like they want us either staged down the block with the paramedics, or completely out of the area and off the radio. Iíve been on scene for 2 drug raids and 1 stolen property raid, and I have been called in after the fact on 2 other drug raids. Thatís in the last 24 years, says a lot for small town living. Even on an animal warrant, the PD makes the first contact and gets us in the door, and then we collect the animals while they take care of the owner.

We may come across neglected animals every month or two, but filing on them under state law is just an exercise in futility because the Tarrant County DA doesnít have time to mess with doggie cases. They teach us in cruelty investigation school to copy the state cruelty laws into our city ordinance and file under that, so when/if we do find the owners of the neglected animals we issue a citation and call it good.

At my previous city I was issued a shotgun and sent through firearms training. Of the dozen or so agencies in my immediate are, I was the only one that had access to a firearm. I was the only one that went through OC training and carried OC. When I have ask the people at the other agencies why, they say they are more afraid of being sprayed for the certification than of any threat the see in the field. Rarely are any of us threatened enough to feel that we are in actual physical danger, but when we are, we just back off and call PD for backup. Once PD arrives we pick up where we left off, except that if the actor was going to get 1 citation they are now going to get 3 + whatever the cops dregs up.

No ACOs around here have Tasers, but most of the cops do. Dogs do occasionally get Tased by a cop, but I have never heard and ACO support the Tasing of a dog, and most are quite vocal that it was unnecessary.

We have no power of arrest, and that is what creates the problems with the citations. Some instructor at the court clerks training seminars is telling them that to make somebody hand over a DL and stay put while we write a citation is making an arrest. So when a non-peace officer, such as an ACO or Code Enforcement Officer issues a citation face to face, it is considered making a false arrest and the citations are not valid. That was the issue at my former city, and my PD cited case law that says I can issue citations, but the court just put them in a dead file if the recipient just ignored it, so I did it the courts way and used citizenís complaint forms instead of citations. They wouldnít issue warrants from them, but they would issue an FTA if the recipient didnít show for court.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2012
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PM sent, enjoy
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2012
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Noac Noac is offline
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I realize that there are MANY opinions and beliefs on this matter but I tend to agree with the OP's feelings. Granted, I may work thousands of cases and never have need of a weapon but just having it there doesn't hurt. On the other hand if I work just ONE case that I do need it not having one could cost my life.

Being armed not only provide a measure of self defense but it's a great tool similar to PD radios, badges, uniforms, etc. It provides a reality check for people who think you are a wanna be cop or that your the "dog catcher". Now, I know someone will bring up the fact that in some situations being able to relate to a person by NOT appearing as an authority figure is benificial... I can't disagree with that but atleast as many times or more it helps to appear the other way in my opinion.

Regardless of these points I think the single most important reason is the benefit it would have on the department. Largely the animal control field has low standards and professionalism. Generally speaking we are under trained, qualified, staffed and paid. While conditions are improving around the country already in some departments, I think the increased responsibility would force more professionalism into our field. Departments would have to bring in more qualified applicants as well as invest more time and money into them in terms of training which is a positive for everyone involved. The officer would gain a profession and better pay, the city looks good because they have knowledgeable, professional officers interacting with the population and the citizens are provided improved service.

Now, keep in mind that I'm not delusional enough to think that magically these governments would start pouring funds into "dog catchers" especially considering the economy. Nor do I think that the ability to carry a weapon will transform our field I just think that ANY step we can take to move our positions towards higher standards and professionalism would be a benefit.

Any opinions are welcome, I have no issue with people who feel differently as I know there are many other directions you could take the senarios I presented. Also keep in mind that I am preparing within the next 2 years to switch over from humane law to standard law enforcement. With that said I tend to be on the far side of the bar with regards to ACO's being professional law enforcement officers(authority figures) or citizen-friendly animal care takers which I know gets debated often.

Thanks for reading this long winded response! I'm done, I swear!
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2012
halfacop halfacop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noac View Post
Thanks for reading this long winded response! I'm done, I swear!
Please don't stop now - you have said everything I have been preaching for years.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noac View Post
Regardless of these points I think the single most important reason is the benefit it would have on the department. Largely the animal control field has low standards and professionalism. Generally speaking we are under trained, qualified, staffed and paid. While conditions are improving around the country already in some departments, I think the increased responsibility would force more professionalism into our field. Departments would have to bring in more qualified applicants as well as invest more time and money into them in terms of training which is a positive for everyone involved. The officer would gain a profession and better pay, the city looks good because they have knowledgeable, professional officers interacting with the population and the citizens are provided improved service.
I swear you were reading my mind when you typed this. I have been saying this for years and I know it works - I have seen it.....
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