In February, Assemblyman Corey Jackson, D-Riverside, introduced Assembly Bill 742, seeking to prohibit using police K-9s for arrests, apprehensions and crowd control. The pretense of this bill stems from the belief that police K-9s are part of the racial bias and violence against Black Americans.
This bill is not only asinine, but it also puts our police officers and suspects — yes, suspects — in greater danger. Police K-9s have been used in many situations to take violent and dangerous suspects into custody using less-than-lethal force, many of which could have resulted in deadly force if it were not for the use of a K-9. In today’s society and cultural climate that calls for police reform to create a downward trend in officer-involved fatal encounters, why is there a bill to take away a less-lethal tool? A K-9 is a less-lethal tool to apprehend suspects. It helps keep police officers from being injured or killed by suspects and allows for suspects to be taken into custody without the potential use of deadly force.
California continues to strip its police officers of less-lethal tools rather than providing them with more less-lethal options and training.