Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Should Humane Law Enforcement Officers Carry Guns?


I do not like guns and I certainly don't believe they are the solution to society's problems. However, I believe that it is time to elevate the field of humane law enforcement to where officers have the authority of human law enforcement officers, conduct their own and joint criminal investigations, and carry their own weapons.

This doesn't mean start handing out guns to current animal control field officers. This means a revolution in training, perception, and, of course, hiring. Cities don't just hire anyone to be a police officer. It has to be someone who can handle the danger, the stress, and the public.

Law enforcement is law enforcement. We are seeing more and more that humane laws and HUMAN laws are not segregated areas. There is the possibility of linking the two together in terms of actual enforcement operations. This would be more efficient and far more effective in the long-term.

Take the following examples of how human and humane link.

Dogfighting has been linked to drug dealing and illegal gambling. Baltimore, for example, is establishing a multi-agency task force to investigate dogfighting rings for this very reason.

Perpetrators of domestic violence may also abuse family pets
as an additional way to hurt the human victim or as an additional target of their rage.

Future killers, including serial killers, often start their life with violence against animals. Here's a list of killers with their animal and human victims listed side by side. (Warning...disturbing content.)

Humane law enforcement is currently geared towards answering complaints. If there are no complaints, there is no investigation. Real criminal charges and arrests are dependent on bringing in the police, who are not trained to deal with animals and who may not have the resources to expend in this area. Also, humane law enforcement is not empowered to gather evidence in far-reaching investigations.

Finally, it's important to remember that it's the smaller charges that are sometimes easier to stick on a hardened criminal. Can't get them on human law charges? Try humane law charges and see what shakes out.

Remember, Al Capone was ultimately brought down on tax evasion charges, not murder and racketeering.


Bagheera said...

Some Animal Control officers in my city have faced dangerous situations when they arrive at the pet owner's home - especially if illegal drugs or other illegal activity is involved. Police officers aren't always there to back up Animal Control, and these guys have been threatened many times. One officer was even fired upon from a house as he walked back to his truck. I definitely believe Animal Control officers (well-trained, of course) should be able to carry firearms.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a conspiracy nut, but you should read Ron Paul's speech "Is America a Police State?" given on the floor of Congress.

We were just approached by Animal Control today about a warning and he was armed. It is offensive to me...

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