Sadly, there are sometimes instances of police officers shooting dogs in the line of duty. Of course, it’s not an act of malice on either part. Indeed, in many instances, protective family pooches have attacked police officers who are only doing their job.
But the dogs are also doing their job of protecting their family from what they view as a threat.
Realizing this, the Round Rock Police Department now requires all officers to undergo mandatory training about how to handle aggressive dogs. It’s an eight hour course taught by a professional dog trainer.
That training paid off when Officer Randall Frederick responded to a neighborhood disturbance call made by Geoffrey Wightman. When Officer Frederick knocked on the door, Geoffrey’s four year old son ran to answer it before Geoffrey could. Likely already on high alert from the neighborhood disturbance, the family’s Australian Shepherd, named Jillaroo, put himself between the boy and the police officer. Out of fear, he instinctively bit the officer twice on the leg.
Thanks to his training, Officer Frederick was able to keep his survival instincts in check. He immediately used the tools the trainer gave him and he de-escalated the situation by calming the protective Jillaroo.
Officer Frederick put aside his own fear and his own pain to keep the situation from getting worse, and ultimately, to protect the Wightman’s dog from being hurt.
Thankfully, the police officer’s injuries were not severe. He was treated and released without missing a day of work.
JIllaroo, who has no record of biting a human, is currently on “house arrest.” Geoffrey plans on working on her behavior skills, so that this never happens again.
The Round Rock Police Department is so committed to protecting family dogs that they have a new initiative called B.A.R.K. or Beware Aware of Residential K9s. The program offers citizens free stickers to place in their windows, alerting police officers to the presence of a pup.