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Old 03-15-2006
Braylin Braylin is offline
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Default How dangerous is ACO work?

On average, how dangerous would you say ACO work is? I have been offered a transfer with full paid training to an ACO position. I would love to hear about some of your runs ins with vicious animals and owners alike.

Could you guys please give a few examples of difficult situations you have found yourself in and how you handled it?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-15-2006
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Danger where I work is alot different than danger where you are because I don't respond to alligator calls !!!! However; pitbull calls are probably the most dangerous calls I have to "respond" to. On the other hand, I also have to handle traffic details and I have come way too close to being a hood ornament on more than one occasion.
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Old 03-16-2006
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Totally depends on the jurisdiction. There's the danger inherent in handling animals, especially big ones; and then there's the danger inherent in law enforcement. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may get lots of one, or the other, or both (in which case I hope you're getting paid the BIG bucks ).

In my jurisdiction, our generally most dangerous calls are animal-related: rutting bucks trying to kill you or maybe dog-on-the-freeway rescues. (About two weeks before my accident last month, I handled call for an otter on the freeway that had me so good and scared that, later, when I was actually in an ambulance being driven away from my totaled car, I kept flashing back and asking them whether the otter was okay! ) On the other hand, the folks around here are pretty educated and laidback, and, myself, I've only dealt with three or four physically agitated humans in my four years here. (In the town where I live, on the other hand, ACOs are frequently out assisting PD with drug seizures, that kind of thing, and things get a lot hairier in terms of human-directed violence/danger.)

But whether it's danger from animals or humans, the thing to remember is that you can minimize it by getting educated and getting ready to face the possibilities. And once you've done that, the job gives back A LOT for the additional danger you face doing it. After all, life is pretty dangerous all the time. Speaking from (some) experience, I'd rather go trying to euthanize a 4x4 buck who needs the help, as go crossing a street and getting T-boned.
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Old 03-16-2006
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I live in a community were everyone knows everyone. Previous ACo's here lasted weeks. They had tires being slashed on their personal vehicles, numerous altercations on the street, and on guy even got death threats. It was a little rough for me when I first started because I was an outsider and the locals all thought I was just like all the rest of the ACO's. I've been here over a year now and the only altercation I had was in the office with a drug dealer who wanted his pitbull back. Make a long story short this pitbull had already been classed as a dangerous animal, after 14 days I finally had to put him down because the owner wasn't showing up to claim him. We only have to legally hold a dog for 4 days but i had a soft spot for this dog, he just had a bad owner. There I go totally off tangent, I do that sometimes. I give everyone a chance, if they take advantage of that and disrespect me then they find out what a fine really is and they go to court. Hope you take the job. Being an ACO isn't just a job its an ADVENTURE
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Old 03-16-2006
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I've had people threaten my life, threaten to assault me, twice they've taken swings at me. I've heard gunshots around me, had my mirror shot off and once had the windshield get hit and shattered while I was driving down the road. My ears rang for 24 hours after that one and I had whiplash. Knocked me out for a minute. I've had pressure bites that bruise and the occasional puncture. Once a cat bit me and I couldn't use my arm for three days since it went numb. I've been in three car accidents in ten years and those have taken a toll. Still sore from the last one over three years ago.
But I wouldn't trade it for the world. Overall, its not dangerous at all. I've had some very educational and enjoyable chats with the public, met some great animals and learned alot.
Learn how to stay safe, learn how to deal with people and learn a lot about animal behavior so you can handle the animals and you won't have any trouble at all.

MB
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Old 03-17-2006
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Everyday brings something different! You can have great citizens one day and the next you can have the most difficult people who want to yell at you and probably hurt you. In our city we all wear vest, not from the dogs, but from the people in certain areas of our city. Better safe then sorry. We contact more citizens on the street than our average police officer and the people we contact are the same people they do, because they all have animals! And usually the not nice people have the mean animals. In thirteen years, I've been shoved once, bitten once, yelled at, called names, and doors shut on my face more times than I can remember. So yes it can be dangerous at times, but officer saftey is your key to keeping yourself safe. Get all the training you can get and remember your officer safety skills so you go home safe at night.
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Old 03-17-2006
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new things everyday. everyone and everything is differnt. The best wepon you have is between your ears. if you can think outside the box and fast on your feet. your gonna love this job.
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Old 03-21-2006
tinners204 tinners204 is offline
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I haven't had any altercations with people that I couldn't handle. I've been threatened, but they were empty threats made by people who where caught up in their emotions. Dealing with animals is another thing...it all comes down to whether or not you can "read" the animals behavior. That's the key to determining how safe it will be for you. As long as you have respect for the animals and people that you will be dealing with you'll do just fine.[/u]
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Old 03-22-2006
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Animal Control is quite safe and relaxing. More civilians get bitten by dogs than ACO's. Well except me of course. People can be problematic but as some others have posted, using your brain will get you out of most situations.
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Old 03-23-2006
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The biggest danger that I have dealt with lately is a vicious breed that is in every town. We are kinda stuck with them because there will never be a law against them. And always use caution when dealing with them and what you say to them.
Yes. That’s right. I’m talking about the dreaded politician. I would sooner go find and wrestle with a Samoan Water Wombat than be trapped in a room with one of them.
If at all possible avoid at all costs. If cornered say things like “ I’m sorry I have to respond to a call now. Please talk to my supervisor. Excuse me.” Your boss has had training to deal with situations with politicians. Let him handle it.
If you are the Supervisor………your fracked. Lets hope your staff remembers your Bday and gets you a big cookie.
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