Yes. According to the AP, the APD pays “about 50 to 75 percent of the cost of dogs that are killed in active shootings.” As the report notes, the APD has spent more than $100,000 so far this year on paid dogs. This is the first year that the department has disclosed the number of animals it has killed this year (and only the ones killed when armed suspects were involved).
What’s so scary about these police dogs being paid? Let’s start with a point I don’t think you have made: The money is made by the people who own the dogs. The dogs belong to citizens, not the police as far as the law is concerned. “The public benefits from the protection the dogs provide,” says the APD in its annual report of its dog-and-handler budget. But while residents are not the only ones paying for the dog’s upkeep, there are certainly some who are.
For some reason, the public still loves the idea that a law-abiding citizen is paid to protect them; and they would love to have something that will give them the same confidence in the police that many people (including the APD itself) have in the criminals that are walking the streets.
But what about, y’know, the public?
Some say it’s because cops are so damn cute. The APD reports that the Dallas PD uses its police dogs to hunt for drug suspects, as well as to catch criminals who burglarize homes.
It’s also said by some that a lot of these police dogs—the ones that live in the houses where these criminals live—are killed, because some have been charged with killing or seriously injuring people. But if that’s so, how are they paid, and who pays them? The Department of Justice doesn’t disclose this information on its website.
And so we get to the heart of the matter: It’s a business decision, with everyone involved weighing the risks and costs. People like the Dallas Police Department and the APD. Those like the citizens who own the dogs, and those like me—that’s how most cities make their money.
I’ve spent the past decade teaching the police to use their dogs the way that they were taught, and that has meant spending hours walking in the streets of Detroit or San Antonio or Chicago. I’ve learned that if a dog is on duty that night in your neighborhood, it needs to be in the house with you. That’s not the police
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