Waco police receives recommendations for K9 program

Posted at 8:15 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 22:15:18-05

A consulting firm issued recommendations to Waco police about its K9 program.

The police department requested HITS Training and Consulting to review the program after the death of one its police dogs in October.

Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said the experts told the company the department is implementing best practices but are recommending officers complete additional training outside the state.

The group also suggested the the force train with other law enforcement agencies in the area.

"That's a benefit to our community and all K9 programs to work together anytime you can get a law enforcement agency benefits the city," Swanton said.

The review also recommended increasing the number of K9 patrol officers but Swanton said the cost currently limits that option.

The department is currently in the process of obtaining a third police dog to replace Kastor. Waco police said the two-year-old dog bit its handler while serving a search warrant at a North Waco home in October. Police added the handler told another officer to shoot the dog due to safety reasons.

After the incident, police temporarily changed its procedures. For a few months, supervisors had to give approval before the dogs could be sent to a scene. Now operations are back to normal. 

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