Last week Tarheel Canine hosted Dr. Terry Fleck for a K9 legal update in Baltimore, MD. We attracted close to 60 participants from NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, VA and NC including handlers, supervisors and a state’s attorney. If you haven’t been to a legal update, make arrangements to do so. Not only are the most recent federal cases discussed, but Terry also does research on state case law for the state in which the seminar is held.
I think one of the biggest eye-openers of the seminar for anyone who hasn’t been to one before is how the legalities of K9 usage need to impact training. Issues in patrol work such as: how announcements are given, when such announcements are given during a tactical operation, what kinds of methods should be used in training building searches (as in clear, down and cover which we teach at Tarheel Canine), and where the dog is TARGETED to grip in an apprehension. There will be a blog post on here shortly to discuss both the training and legal reasons why targeting should absolutely be taught, and police dogs should not be taught or encouraged to bite just “anywhere,” despite the loads of conventional wisdom to the contrary, and active instruction to the contrary.
I want to thank Terry for his knowledge, insight, and expertise and if you haven’t had a chance to work with Terry, visit his website and make contact with him. www.k9fleck.org he will be retiring from his work in 2012 – so take advantage of his expertise while you can.