Legislators writing or enacting laws they have little or no understanding of should be a concern for all citizens. Having successfully developed the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) dog program and trained 22 police agencies, in the first California Police Service Dog Training Program, I am not in support of HB 1054.
The CALPOST program was created with participation of community representatives and law enforcement.
The training format was based on the principles used by Europeans, particularly on the Danish police service dog training program.
That training focuses on four criteria: obedience, tracking, searching and protection.
The LBPD Police Service Program was started in 1979 with two dogs and is still active today with six dogs and a narcotics dog.
To restrict police dog searches to On Leash only, will not only endanger the handler and his supporting officers, but the dog.
Any search program must be based on Alert (barking) and Guarding the subject until the handler arrives.
Only by aggressive subject activity may the dog attack independently.
The handler also must be able to call the dog off from an Of Leash Attack.
HB 1054 puts ridiculous restrictions on a very expensive, successful law enforcement tool.
An independent appointed state commission, can certify Washington used police service dogs by an annual examination program.
The dog handler selection must include a psychological examination and no disciplinary punishment. Adequate initial and follow up training time is essential.