COPS Manual


In our country today dogs being shot by law enforcement is a big problem It is enough of a problem that the Department of Justice released a report two years ago to specifically address this issue. This very important manual, expressly prepared for law enforcement, has been released by the Community Office of Policing Services (COPS) division of the US Department of Justice.

Bernard K Melekian, Director of COPS writes (in part) “In the United States, dogs are an integral part of society, which means police engage with dogs quite often in the line of duty. There are a variety of circumstances where a dog could be involved in a police call, and it is critical that police departments not only develop effective departmental strategies advocating for the proper handling of dog-related incidents and encounters, but also proactively create tactical-response strategies, ensuring humane treatment of dogs and safety for the public and officers.”

Another quote within the manual says…” Americans love dogs. There is roughly one dog for every four people in the United States, and they live in a variety of relationships with humans. Because dogs are such a part of American society, police routinely encounter them in the line of duty, not just when responding to calls about inhumane treatment or when dogs are seen to present a danger to people. Officers encounter dogs in the course of almost every kind of police interaction with the public, from making traffic stops and serving warrants, to interviewing suspects and witnesses, and even pursuing suspects."

The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters:

Click here to see the Department of Justice's published document on dog related incidents and encounters. Here they discuss tools, practices, and procedures that contribute to effective responses to dog-related incidents and encounters where dogs are present. Primary goals include ensuring public and officer safety and considering community needs and demands.