APD adopts new policies for dog encounters

Bobby Blanchard

The Austin Police Department announced Tuesday they were changing their policies and training pertaining to officers engaging with dogs.

APD spokeswoman Veneza Aguinaga said the new policy will go into effect July 1 and will specify the tactics available to officers when confronted with an aggressive dog. In the new policy change, Aguinaga said if an officer used force against a dog, they would have to explain why it was necessary and have the incident reviewed by the entire chain of command.

Aguinaga said cadets will receive a two-hour training session to learn about the new policy, while officers on patrol will complete thirty-minutes of training.

Aguinaga said this policy change is a result of an incident in April when officer Thomas Griffin arrived at the wrong address, then shot and killed the owner’s dog, Cisco.

“It was investigated and there were no policy violations found, but it did provide us an opportunity to review our policy and our training regarding this,” Aguinaga said.