Sunday, March 02, 2003

Action Alert, Number 3

State Senator Steve Cohen, as reported by the Commercial Appeal will be putting a bill before the Legislature on Tuesday that mandates training for all police officers in how to handle family pets, especially dogs.

This comes in the wake of the Cookeville shooting last January, where a police officer with previous dog-slaughter problems shot a family dog during a fouled-up stop, even though the family had tried to get officers to lock the dog up.
The Senate judiciary committee is scheduled to vote on the General Patton bill on Tuesday.

The bill would require law enforcement officers through out the state to undergo training to learn how to deal with family pets, specifically dogs.

The bill is named after the dog Patton that was shot and killed on New Year's Day by a Cookeville police officer on a traffic stop on Interstate 40.

State Sen. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) introduced the bill. Other co-sponsors are Sen. Curtis Person (R-Memphis), Sen. John Ford (D-Memphis), Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), Michael Williams (R-Maynard ville) and Charlotte Burks (D-Cookeville).

The bill is sponsored in the house by Rob Briley (D-Nashville), Janis Sontany (D-Nashville) and Brenda Turner (D-Chattanooga).

You can contact your legislators to voice your opinion on the bill at the following Web site:
It should also be pointed out that previous dog training reports are misleading. What was said was that officers would be getting the kind of training the Cohen bill mandates.

What happened was that the ASPCA met with police supervisors in Nashville for a seminar. That seminar was was videotaped and made available to all local police and sherrif's departments. Officers can, if they choose or are so ordered, to view the video. That's it.

So, the Cohen bill is the way to go.

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