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Video: Meridian officer praised for nonlethal response to 'vicious dogs' report

Body-worn camera footage from the Meridian Police Department show how to handle vicious dogs without resulting to fatal measures. (YouTube screengrab)

A Meridian Police officer is being praised on Facebook after footage from a body camera shows him using nonlethal tactics to handle a report of two vicious dogs roaming a neighborhood.

The post circling Facebook was originally shared by Edith Williams, who thanks the Meridian police chief for the video and helping her cause - a public group called Idaho for Nonlethal Canine Encounters.

According to Williams, the police department sent two officers to a Defensive Tactics Canine Encounters class back in 2014. Officers were taught how to use confidence and "less lethal means" while "keeping the officer, innocent bystanders and the public's canine companions from harm."

Officer David Gomez was trained for this type of situation.

In the video, you can hear Gomez warning bystanders of the two unfriendly dogs. While waiting for Animal Control to arrive, the dogs continue to bark (one of which is physically foaming at the mouth), but the officer remains calm and eventually convinces the dogs to get into his patrol car.

Gomez had nonlethal tools - a deployed baton and pepper spray - if needed.

Meridian PD says the owners were cited for vicious dogs at large.

Watch:

"This has been a true labor of love," Williams said.

Here's the original post:

(If you can't see it, click here.)

The description of Idaho for Nonlethal Canine Encounters on Facebook says:

"This group was formed by Idahoans concerned with the amount of dogs being shot by police officers. In our journey to understand this issue, we came to the understanding that many officers do not have access to non-lethal force canine encounter or canine de-escalation training. It is our goal to reach out to law enforcement in an effort to establish mandatory training in the Idaho law enforcement curriculum and to make available and require all current officers to partake in said training , to keep our officers, our citizens and our pets safer and to reduce such incidents."


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