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Assemblyman Corey Jackson (Photo: a60.asmdc.org)

New Bill Would End the Use Of Police K-9 Units

‘The way [Assemblyman Jackson] is putting it is that it is like the 1960’s South’

By Evan Symon, February 13, 2023 6:00 pm

A bill that would end the use of police K-9 units, also known as police units involving trained police dogs, in many criminal situations was introduced to the Assembly on Monday.

Assembly Bill 742, authored by Assemblyman Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley), would specifically end the use of K-9 units for arrest, apprehension, and crowd control. As the bill has yet to be fully submitted, it is unknown what, if any, exceptions there are, such as if a K-9 unit is on an emergency call or if there are a shortage of regular units. AB 742 would not ban K-9 units entirely, as they would still be allowed for search and rescue, explosive detection, and narcotic detection that does not include the use of biting.

Assemblyman Jackson said he authored the bill in response to the high number of injuries reported with police dogs, as well as the historical use of K-9 units disproportionately against African-Americans and other people of color. “The use of police canines has inflicted brutal violence and lifelong trauma on Black Americans and communities of color,” Assemblyman Dr. Corey A. Jackson said in a statement. “This bill marks a turning point in the fight to end this cruel and inhumane practice and build trust between the police and the communities they serve.”

“Today we announce the introduction of AB 742,” said Assemblyman Jackson on Monday in front of the Capitol Building in Sacramento. “This bill seeks to end a deeply racialized, traumatic, and harmful practice by prohibiting the use of police K-9s for arrest, apprehension, and crowd control. We have to understand that the use of police K-9s have been a mainstay in this country’s dehumanization and it’s cruel and violent history.”

“It is an abuse for black Americans and people of color and this has been done for centuries. Police K-9s remain a gross misuse of force and victimize black and brown people disproportionately. The need for AB 742 is needed not only through a historic perspective but also through the clear racial disparities in the data that we see every year.”

Carlos Marquez III of the ACLU added that “It’s time for California to take a stand and end this inhumane practice.”

Law Enforcement, Public Safety groups deride bill

However, AB 742 received a quick backlash from law enforcement officials and public safety groups, who said that police dogs were essential for many police tasks, including apprehending suspects. Many also pointed to statistics that showed that while there were some outlying cases of deaths caused by police dogs and injuries’ caused by bites, the vast majority of cases helped bring in criminals without the use of force from officers and didn’t need to escalate the situation to using non-lethal weapons or firearms.

“No one is arguing that irresponsible, criminal and negligent use of a canine is unacceptable, which is why we have such strict standards and laws on how and when canines can be used,”  Chief Chris Catren, President of the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) responded on Monday. “But removing a non-lethal and highly effective law enforcement ally, which is used primarily to de-escalate and diffuse volatile scenarios, gravely hinders our police officers’ safety and ability to reduce the amount of force used in those circumstances. The fact is that canines reduce more force than they ever use and banning them goes too far.”

Others explained that AB 742 would deprive police of a valuable unit that saves lives.

“This is another one of California’s absolutely insane bills,” said former police officer and K-9 unit member Ronald Davis to the Globe on Monday. “First of all, there are numerous court cases that allow these dogs to be used, especially in cases when the suspect was seen to have a gun. We have higher courts saying that police dog use of force does not violate the Fourth Amendment. So even if this passes, this is going right to court and is going to be held up from being implemented while it’s heard.”

“Second of all, for every case of a dog biting someone, there are so many more where a dog took down a dangerous suspect that could have injured officers or others. Any K-9 officer will tell you that the dog that we’re partnered with has saved lives. I’ve seen dogs wrestle down suspects who had been holding handguns and knives. All those instances of dogs causing a bite injury to someone? Look at how many happened because the suspect had a gun or other weapon drawn, or if lives were at risk, or if they were threatening people with violence. It’s nearly all cases.”

“The way [Jackson] is putting it is that it is like the 1960’s South out there or something with all police dogs going after people. That is so wrong. Using dogs for arrest and apprehension is used in dangerous situations, not willy-nilly. K-9 units are called in specifically for those types of cases, as well as for things like drugs. As for using dogs during crowd control… they’re leashed and only used as a last resort. They aren’t being sent whenever. They are there in case lives are in danger and they save lives.”

AB 742 is expected to be heard in Assembly Committees soon.

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38 thoughts on “New Bill Would End the Use Of Police K-9 Units

  1. This is a NO. Nearly every day it’s some new and ridiculous bill, isn’t it? Now we have a Dem Assemblyman proposing to remove an extremely valuable law enforcement tool, an effective one that protects suspect and officer alike; one that this legislator does not understand or (apparently) cares to understand. Your first clue that this is pandering and grandstanding is the use of the race card which is not relevant here.
    If you object to this nonsense consider taking a moment to contact your legislators and register your objection. AB 742.

  2. Here we go again with another anti law enforcement bill that will hamper the police from doing their jobs. And if it passes look for Governor Climate Change to sign it.

  3. Yes, that is what CA needs is LESS crime protection. That is at the top of everyone’s concern is how we can achieve MORE crime and those that resist arrest.

  4. Leftist Democrats like Assemblyman Corey Jackson do everything they can to attack law enforcement while coddling criminals? Wouldn’t be surprised if he and other Democrats are receiving payoffs to push anti law-enforcement legislation from some Soros connected organization?

  5. The fact that the president of the CPCA mentions officer safety first and other considerations second tells you a lot about what is wrong with law enforcement. Until we get back to a mentality that all of government is here to serve the public, these petty wars over tactics will continue

  6. I have long been distressed by the treatment of dogs used by law enforcement and in the military. The daily training is beyond cruel and abusive, with the animals often becoming victims of aggressive, power-wielding bullies who neglect them and control them mercilessly. Then the dogs, doing what they are harshly trained to do, become the unsuspecting targets for criminals with guns and knives. Officers have guns and a choice. Criminals have a choice. The dogs are innocent and if they had a choice they would surely run as far as they could away from police and military training. I support AB 742 for a different reason than its author.

    1. Just curious Sandra, how is the activism going with what Fauci and biolabs doing with the dogs? they hold them for experiments and lock them up in horrible conditions just so they can do “research” with gain of function.

    2. Sandra, I will start out by saying, that your comment is one of the most uneducated statement I have heard in a long time, and am embarrassed for you. I have been in K-9 for the last thirty years and have handled four dogs and trained hundreds of them. If we have a handler that is anywhere near abusive to the K-9 they are removed from the unit. Second of all educate yourself and read San Diego study. Now tell me that you are willing to send an Officer into a building that has been broken into in the middle of the night in a high crime are, knowing that this Officer has a family at home that he might not come home to because uneducated people such as yourself make up that K-9’s are abused! I cannot say that you have ever read that, seen that on T.V., or for sure have never been involved with the training of Law Enforcement. I hope that you would take your time to educate yourself before spouting junk like this. You take tools away from Law Enforcement that are less than lethal then what do you have, or do you need a picture drawn?

    3. Oh, you now “mind meld” with dogs? WTF? Police dogs are VERY well cared for. Why don’t you get your facts straight before you open your mouth.

    4. I’m so sorry if this sounds rude Sandra, but your comment is extremely ignorant to say the least. These dogs are working. To them work is fun. It is what they were meant to do. These dogs have a very enjoyable life. They are well maintained and taken care of. You should really educate yourself, and not just the medias word for it.

  7. Ah yes….of course dogs are racist. Everything is racist now. You have to wonder if the people who promote this garbage are just stupid or are willfully wanting to inflict all this misery on us?

  8. Ya gotta know he is a Doctor!
    Doctorate in Social Work, (DSW) and a Masters in Social Work (MSW)
    So he must be smart!
    Too bad he doesn’t have a degree in common sense.

  9. Just when you think this state couldn’t get any more idiotic! The inmates (legislators?) are now running the asylum.
    A complete idiot.

  10. Thank you California Globe for the heads up on this bill.

    Letter sent to my State Assembly person and State Senator.

  11. Hey Assemblyman Jackson – maybe the “historical use of K-9 units disproportionately against African-Americans and other people of color.” might be mitigated if that population would take a lesson from our good friend Chris Rock :

  12. when a police K-9 is used, it is to keep a situation from under controll and to keep everyone involved safe. yes safe. even the “person” who has made the situation become potentially dangerous. and the K-9 is used when necessary without racism in mind. if white people cause a situation where the K-9 is necessary, the K-9 is used. same with any other person no matter their race or color. if the perpetrators would not resort to violence and cooperate with law enforcement, the K-9 would not be sent in. but when violence and weapons are used against law enforcement, the K-9 is the tactic with the highest percentage of ending the situation with the least amount of injury to both sides.
    or maybe when a criminal is violent and treating bodily injury to law enforcement and or the public, they should just be taken down with return fire. which sounds more humane? and the ones that get bit or taken down by the K-9 are very aggressively threatening and resisting any type of peaceful end to the situation that they have brought upon themselves. I myself have seen many, many K-9 partnerships and the dogs are very well taken care of and very happy in their life. the bond with their handlers is a very beautiful and loving relationship for both. so yes, K-9 response is for the safety of the officers, the public, AND the person causing the situation! we cannot keep such a vital tool away from law enforcement. it’s exactly like defunding law enforcement. a very stupid and ignorant idea. and no, I’m not a cop or other type of law officer. just an American that wants everyone to be able to feel safe in their homes and especially out in public. so don’t even think about removing the K-9 from law enforcement! by the way, the police K-9 is very friendly around everyone that isn’t causing a violent situation. even our brothers and sisters of any color!

  13. another example of idiocracy in our politicians. the K-9 keeps bad situation from getting worse. police K-9 teams are a vital non-fatal tool. if deployed, it’s because whoever is causing the situation is not trying to keep things “friendly” and non hostile. and race or skin color is not a factor in the use of the K-9. keeping the situation from going out of control is. and police/military dogs have some of the strongest and happiest bonds with their handlers. they are by no means treated badly or abused. people need to quit playing the “racist” card and maybe get a little education on things. this democrat rep from moreno Valley has no idea what he is talking about. its really saying something about his lack of knowledge. kind of scary that he was voted in to congress and is making very uninformed decisions for us. but his thinking does evidently put him at the same level of intelligence as the rest of the democrats in congress. which is a far scarier thing than using K-9 teams to keep things from getting out of hand. K-9 teams are a very humane and necessary tool for our police. or I guess we could just shoot the idiots that escalate a situation to the point of senseless violence. oh, and race and skin color are not a part of the decision to deploy a K-9 team. safety is. don’t be a stupid idiot and you will never have to worry about it. be a stupid idiot and well, you will recieve either a humane take down by K-9, or a bullet if YOU take it that far. it is your choice. I suggest not being a stupid idiot. all these incidences you see on TV are caused by the person who made the choice to be a stupid idiot. so Mr representative, don’t be a stupid idiot either!

  14. I’m 100% agreed with you Sandra Bell. I totally support our law enforcement but not the K9 operation, those MWD & K9 training is curley, you just don’t want to admit that. so without K9 as a tool or shield , our police or handler can’t do their job effectively? or we really rely on K9’s death to catch the criminals? please don’t waste our high intelligence to use and abuse the animals that only has 7 years old IQ. we can find better way to arrest criminals by not killing your beloved K9 unless you never care about their life …. it’s only an animal !?!?

  15. Vicious uncontrollable animals should not be used to catch suspects. K-9s bite other officers and innocent bystanders and do not always release when commanded. Dogs have and do kill people

  16. Thanks for writing the article on K9. The inference on “communities of color” provides the hook for the bill. I would love the opportunity to submit the true tale of a very white Texas deputy candidate named Butler in which he ignored instructions to remain at the patrol vehicle he was riding along in. During a K9 assisted suspect search Butler encountered the K9 at the wrong place and was bitten during the process.
    I am sickened by counter-culture offensive strikes leveraging racial bias in their attempts to disarm the security of the nation. I will,however,give these fools credit for ingenuity and perseverance to task as unwitting accomplices to an unrelenting enemy to the freedoms America intends to enjoy.

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