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K9 duty deaths: The need for better reporting


By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University
In Public Safety

K9 partners play a critical role in law enforcement agencies and are beloved members of the community. However, despite their value, there remains no consistent or accurate tool to report K9 duty deaths. As those in academics know, it is imperative to be able to gather reliable, verifiable, and credible data to analyze K9 duty deaths. Such research can lead to the development of better K9 training programs, tactics, and general care for our beloved four-legged partners.

Missing information on reported K9 duty deaths includes:

K9 partners play a critical role in law enforcement agencies and are beloved members of the community. (Photo courtesy In Public Safety)
K9 partners play a critical role in law enforcement agencies and are beloved members of the community. (Photo courtesy In Public Safety)

• Breed

• Age

• Gender

• Years of service

• Basic K9 training

• Specialized training

• Length of in-service training time

• Duty assignment

• Purpose of K9

• Protective vest or gear worn

• Day of the week and time of incident

• Off or on lead at time of incident?

There is no identified agency who is taking the lead to improve reporting mechanisms and create a uniformed duty death report for K9’s. This oversight is an opportunity for the discipline and profession to work together to honor the faithful service of K9’s with accurate data about their duty deaths. By creating a reporting system that is verified and reliable, the data generated can be properly analyzed and reported to policy-makers so there is credible evidence to support training, tactics, and care for K9 partners.

Full Story: K9 Duty Deaths: The Need for Better Reporting

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