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Chief sternly responds to public abuse over dog shooting

Chris Burbank asks public not to disrespect his officers

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  • Fairly Burlington, VT
    Aug. 1, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    Apparently, "'It is our responsibility that we do all we can to bring a safe resolution to the circumstances we encounter,'" means ONLY as it refers to humans! How disgusting.

  • Hearseman Perkinston, MS
    July 2, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    "I absolutely demand that every single one of my officers treat the public with the respect and dignity they deserve. My officer, and officers, deserve no less," he said sternly.
    What this Cheif doesn'g understand is that the people are treating just as their treated by the offices. He also seems to forget that he is a public servant and better adjust his attude!

  • shasny west valley, UT
    July 1, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    What about using pepper spray or a taser? Why are the police always willing to shoot first? You're entering a citizens private backyard where one would think their pet would be safe. I understand the police were looking for a missing child but that doesn't justify what this officer did. I do have respect for the police but at the same time I expect respect from them towards me and other citizens as well. I'm disgusted by what this officer did and even more disgusted by the chief of police reaction to the whole thing. People are angry about the senseless killing of this man's pet, how is that disrespecting the police? The few people who made death threats do not represent the majority and are totally in the wrong. Yes looking for a missing child is serious business but the whole point is this officer DID NOT need to shoot this dog. THAT'S what everyone is upset about.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    July 1, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Threats are never valid. Those making threats against this officer are wrong.

    I am concerned at how politicized the SLPD is under Burbank:

    - refusal to enforce immigration laws in the city

    - Suspending a veteran officer who asked for a routing reassignment so he did not have to ride his motorcycle at the head of the Pride parade, and then calling him a "bigot" in an official press release when he resigns

    If the SLPD is to protect and serve all, they should never be involved in political events. Patrol the parade, yes, but participate, no.

    Demanding respect when you are not willing to give it is a big problem...

  • Live From the Swamp Holladay, UT
    June 30, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    The Salt Lake police department is arrogant from the top down - Burbank sets the tone. Nice to hear that they are reviewing their procedures after the fact. Hopefully, Internal Affairs will do it's job and see the officer gets canned for discharging his weapon, in proximity to other people, unnecessarily.

  • justinbl Portland, OR
    June 30, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the 4th Amendment applies to knocking at someone's backdoor.

    This is unfortunate, but I think people should care more about the little girl than the dog.

  • kiapolo Washington, DC
    June 30, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    Too bad the owner didn't shoot back. Had he put that cop down on the spot, he'd have walked as it would be a "crime" of passion.

  • Forgiveness is the Answer St George, UT
    June 30, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    I can understand how deeply people feel about the loss of a pet and the anger that can be expressed over a senseless murder (meaning no sense was used as to alternatives to shooting the pet). I can also understand the loss of a wandering child and a caring police officer putting the search for the child as higher priority than a pet. I also understand those who have pointed to the greater crime of trespassing onto private property, a crime held so great in our country that the use of deadly force is recognized and acknowledged in defending our private property. But I have read little outcry about the officer's safety? Why not? It appears to many of us that he used poor judgment when considering other alternatives to deal with the family pet. But, what of his own safety? Isn't he lucky he wasn't shot himself by the homeowner when he trespassed without a warrant or probable cause? Do the officers realize how risky that is? With the number of crimes being committed these days by criminals pretending to be officers, they should take this into account.

  • michaelb2 poway, CA
    June 29, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    The public is outraged because they do not trust the investigation will be honest and not just a cover-up. The dog was shot 30 mins after the child was found.

  • jimmyjohnaz Tucson, AZ
    June 29, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    What a joke..."Exigent circumstances". What part of that scenario gave the cop probable cause to even enter the private property? The officer should be charged with trespass, and cruelty to animals.

    I hope the family that cried wolf is also apologetic. Maybe they should have looked under all their blankets before calling 911. "Billy couldn't possibly be under that mountain of blankets in the play room, he's obviously missing, call 911".

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    June 29, 2014 12:10 a.m.

    When I first heard this story, I felt sympathetic towards the officer. After listening to this chief, I no longer feel that sympathy.
    The chief came across as arrogant and condescending. I was frankly quite surprised at his lack of professionalism. Also, his expressed concern for the dog and owner felt very shallow and insincere.
    It probably would have been better for them to have a PR person come out in front of the camera.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 28, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    I can see both side's position on this, but I think the police should stop trying to justify killing a guy's pet who was doing no wrong, and put forth a plan to PREVENT anything like it from happening again.

    . . . Maybe they could add some type of dog deterrent to the arsenal they wear on there belts.

    Or make it a policy to take along some type of such deterrent when snooping in someone's back yard.

    Let common sense prevail.

  • HIGHLANDER56 EAGLE MOUNTAIN, UT
    June 28, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    This chief is and always has been a law unto himself, i.e. refusing to enforce immigration laws, now he's proved he's a total clown. The officer who shot Geist was wrong, period!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 28, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    The chief is right.

    The officer did the right thing.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 28, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    Whatever happened to: "To Serve And Protect" ?

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    June 28, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    "Chris Burbank asks public not to disrespect his officers"

    That would work better if police were not hired for their physicality and not taught to be aggressive and disrespectful in order to always physically control situations.

    Needless to say my few experiences with police officers have not been ones where I felt respected.

    I'm sure there are good police officers out there, but they sure don't seem to be in the majority!

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    June 28, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Any abuse of power by police and reckless disregard for life ought to be held up for scrutiny and those responsible for it held accountable for their actions. Especially if the officers happen to be Church members, in which case, they are held accountable to a higher power as well.

  • dawgdeelux saratoga springs, UT
    June 28, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    Many of us know that not all police officers are concerned about respect. Many of us know how disrespectful the police can be. Many of us know how the Police conduct searched, many of us know what happens when a cop steps across the line. Fortunately, in this case, there has been such a resounding public outcry that maybe, just maybe, as the police department investigates itself and it's own, that we may get an honest assessment or we'll get the tired old story about how it takes a month to investigate behind closed doors, protecting privacy, and in the end the canned answer will be "The officer felt threatened, the shooting was justified, we will review our policies..." and that will be that..

  • Fyrangel Marion, IA
    June 28, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    I understand the way people respond to attacks, they get defensive. It's human nature. But I would honestly ask the Police Chief to please, consider the feelings of those who see their family pets as members of their family, not as property.

    Also, an understanding apology goes a long way to diffusing a situation rather than exacerbating the same situation with angry words. I'm not trying to say that Officer Olsen was totally in the wrong, we have no idea what his state of mind was, whether or not he might have a fear of dogs that he isn't completely aware of, but please, please, find time to bring in professional animal handlers to teach officers how to handle animals who show territorial behaviors.

    Knowing the Weimeraner breed, they can be territorial, and this dog was in his perceived territory, a fenced and secure backyard. There are ways to diffuse that situation without shooting the animal. Back carefully away while maintaining eye contact with the animal and then go find someone to secure it while they search.

    Let's be understanding but also determined that this not happen again. This child was in her own home.

  • UnityNow Atlanta, GA
    June 28, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    The dog wouldn't have been "close" if the cop wouldn't have been trespassing on his property.
    I have been a victim of police abuse and now, whenever I see a cop , I am afraid but I don't pull a gun and start killing them.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    June 28, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    How about a statement like this:
    I am sorry I shot your dog...I was afraid and may have over reacted.
    Instinct got the better of me. sorry
    Have you ever been attacked by a dog?
    Those are teeth and a very strong jaw..

  • Utahkintome? Waco, TX
    June 28, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    Shame on this police chief.. The public is growing tired of the absolute power mentality of police forces across the country. The militarization of the police force is one of if not the biggest issue facing this country right now.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    June 28, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    Some of you are upset that the SLPD has not apologized.

    I'm sure they would be happy to, but cannot. Sean Kendall, the dog's owner, has threatened legal action. And the sad reality of our current court system is that giving an apology is equivalent to offering an admission of guilt.

    No matter how bad you feel about an unfortunate accident, legal counsel always forbids an apology because the prosecution will hang you with it.

    Blame lawyers and judges for this one; not the police.

  • standtall Sandy, UT
    June 28, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Burbank's comments are very troubling and reflect the attitude of the SLPD from the highest level. Basically ... "we can do whatever we want to your property as long as we make up a good excuse for why we did it". I am also appalled that he would use the tragic memory of Trolley Square to justify this officer's terrible decision to trespass on private property and destroy a cherished family pet. If this is ok, then where do we draw the line? I agree that death threats are extreme, but the police department should be taking this much more seriously and the public should absolutely be outraged.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Chief Burbank is absolutely correct. The dog's death is heartbreaking and the facts need to be carefully investigated to determine what happened in that backyard and whether Officer Olsen had any reason to kill that poor dog. The public concern and outrage are utterly appropriate, but the vitrolic comments, hate mail and threats are disgusting and irrational.

  • docport1 ,
    June 28, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    I couldn't agree more with the Chief's comment about less brouhaha over the possible shooting of a person. Too many pet owners equate their dogs to human beings.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    June 28, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    Guess it isn't so good to let one's dog enjoy his back yard anymore.
    Always thought it was the safest "fun" place for my beloved animal.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Kudos to Chief Burbank!. I find the threats and hateful comments toward our police officers to be despicable. I find the dog owner's call for the officer who unfortunately saw a need to shoot the dog to lose his livelihood (and be fired) to be nonsense. The police were searching to find a lost child. So let's just have them seek a warrant for all the properties they were searching, that would result in huge delays in the search. A few years ago, my neighbor's dog came into our yard and brutally killed our cat right before my eyes. We had that dear cat for 20 years, he was like a child (almost), my wife was devastated. What did she do - she made little fuss and forgave the neighbor. We have been friends with the neighbor ever since. Depending on the circumstances, perhaps the city should compensate the dog owner? Let's be slow to judge and get the facts first and bag the hatred and bellicose rhetoric.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    June 28, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    We're all mad at the cops when they give us a speeding ticket or reprimand us in some way, and then come crying to them when we've been violated or threatened. The police are there to "serve and protect". I think 99.9% of them are honest and want to do their job to the best of their ability. We need to let them. If they make a mistake, we just need to settle down and chalk it up to human error. I don't expect perfection of myself, so I won't expect it our of good men trying to do their job either.

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    Fire Burbank he's out of touch and his cops are out of control!

  • FelisConcolor North Salt Lake, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    For those who are questioning the right of the officer to enter private property without a warrant, the courts have long recognized an "exigent circumstances" exception to the Fourth Amendment. Police are allowed to enter back yards and private property without getting a warrant first in situations where they determine there is an imminent threat to human life.

    The officer didn't break any law when he entered the back yard because he was searching for a child whom was believed to be in danger.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Can someone please cite precedence that police need a warrant to enter private property. No doubt police entered private property to search for Elizabeth Smart. Even if the yard was fenced it is still considered plain view. At one time I did process serving. I was on a porch when a dog came out of nowhere and lunged at me. I never saw the dog. I was terrified and ran and jumped on the roof of my vehicle. My understanding is that it was a large dog. If I were a police officer and a large dog lunged at me I would have done the same thing. I am not going to s stop and call animal control or try and aim pepper spray at the dog. Once again why are people posting off topic comments about immigration law enforcement. Immigration law enforcement is a federal responsibility, not local. One last thought. The same thing happened in Ogden a few years ago. I don't recall any public outcry over the incident. Thank you Chief Burbank and SLPD for all you do to serve the citizens of SLC.

  • Shaking my head Nephi, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Seems like the Chief is the root of the problem. If the one in charge has this type of "we are never wrong" attitude and disregard for personal property rights. Then is it any wonder his officer acted the same?

    He needs to be fired!

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    CONTINATION

    An officer puts himself in harm's way and dies and the amount of publicity is just say "normal" but a dog who has not learned how to avoid confrontation causes all kinds of problems for those who would have protected him if a case of abuse had occurred does not make sense. All of the attacks on Police and the Chief are unwarranted. The idea of a gathering of 30,000 for a dog's sake is an amazing waste of time. I am a dog lover but would never put my dog in jeopardy or open myself for a law suit if he bit someone. He was contained so he would not be shot or hurt anyone else.

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    No excuses will work,Burbank,you've got to screen the people you turn loose on the public with guns!No reason for shooting that dog in its own yard...none!

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    Chris Burbank should be fired for a host of reasons. He brings his own personal political views to the job and imposes those views on his officers and the public. His personal political agenda slants his ability to carry out the duty of his office and taints the trust of the public he is supposed to serve and protect. It is a dicey road to walk when it is clouded with personal bias. Any police Chief should be neutral in his public political views, and should certainly not act as an activist in public. There have been poor choices on his part of late.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    June 28, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    @BVD, I beg to differ with you. Have had a "nice family pet" Weimaraner grab me by the throat and try to kill me when I was eight years old, sitting in a lawn chair, minding my own business. These are hunting dogs, with in-bred instinct to hunt and kill. They will kill small animals easily and won't hesitate to go after larger animals, such as horses, deer, sheep. They attach themselves to one person and tend to suffer severe anxiety when separated from their owner, thus making them unstable around other people unknown to them.
    When we don't know all the facts, we should not judge what happened in that back yard. If I were the parent of the missing child, I would certainly want the officers searching to do whatever and search wherever to find my child. Consider that.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 28, 2014 7:25 a.m.

    Where's the outrage from all of you about all the dogs over the years that got shot in drug raids? What do you all want. Bloody bite marks all over the cop to justify his actions. This incident was more than a Chihuahua nipping at his heels. IT was about a dog, big enough to do some damage. Was it attacking him? Was it not? I normally don't agree with Burbank about much. In this case, I do.

    All you constitutional scholars out there ought to bone up on your unlawful search and seizure law.

  • Overdubbed San Diego, CA
    June 28, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    I feel like this police chief is missing something important: when you enter another person's property without their permission and without a warrant you have an extra high level of duty with regard to their property and their effects. It does not matter how good your reason was for going onto the property. You still have to exercise and exceptionally high level of care and diligence. Shooting a dog is not an exceptionally high level of care and diligence. Moreover the Constitution guarantees our rights to be secure in our homes and our persons..

    There is so much that went wrong here – and I am not saying we need to hang the police officer. But we also do not need to excuse him for his bad conduct.

    And it is a very bad conduct to enter somebody's home without a warrant and shoot their dog. No matter how good your intentions were.

  • Landscapermanut Draper, UT
    June 28, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    I am sorry about the death of this dog and if the Officer did something wrong he should be treated accordingly. But, let's face it folks, it was a dog! I have seen the picture of this dog on the news as much or more as when a child is killed, with even more passion and "hate" by the goofballs in this community. Let the Chief do his job and let's move on!

  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    June 28, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    How about we wait 'til we get the facts before we make a judgment? I have serious concerns about the officer trespassing on private property, but before I condemn the cop for shooting the dog I need to see the facts. And, before I get too incensed about the cop trespassing on private property, I need to read the city statute and department policy about that situation. If the cop was following law and policy, it's hard to get upset at the cop.

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    June 28, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    No apology needed except by the dog owner who did not have his yard posted with a warning sign or that it was a vicious dog as required by law. If it had been posted it would be the first place they should look. Loose vicious dogs are a threat to the neighborhood and illegal when left loose. The owner when not at home must have his dog(s) penned up in dog runs or leashes.

    No warrant required in search and rescue investigations when a handicapped child is loose and missing. Officer was justified to kill the dog and not waste time trying to capture it.

    Chief Burbank is a threat to SLC, the police, Utah, and the United States using political polices to sustain no law and order and allow illegal aliens safe harbor threatening citizens. I am surprised he took so long to stand up for the officers in their duties to serve and it shows how disconnected he is with his duties. Where has he been for the last 5 days?

    Its time for the media and the bawl baby to stop whining over his dead dog interfering with the search for the child.

  • macnkat BEAUMONT, CA
    June 28, 2014 6:10 a.m.

    I am becoming weary of these stories. Stop shooting innocent family pets. Pepper spray, mace, or just leaving the yard all were better options. It seems that police are getting their kicks shooting dogs these days. Every time a cop goes into a backyard he should EXPECT to find a dog and EXPECT that dog to bark at him...perhaps THEY should be more prepared and better trained as to what to do with a dog. And the PD's response is unapologetic which makes it worse.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    June 28, 2014 6:06 a.m.

    This is why I wish people would think before they send emails or leave voice messages. Sending threats is giving this Cheif something to hide behind instead of addressing the real issues. The issues here are simple. An officer entered someone's yard without probable cause and the officer resorted to deadly force rather than using all the other tools on his belt. This is why IMHO, every officer should be armed with a go-pro. I'd like to see what "agressive" behavior the dog presented. This isn't a one time deal. Go to youtube and see the hundreds of videos of officers abusing their power. Also look up dog shootings. This is becoming all too common.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    June 28, 2014 4:51 a.m.

    If a child were missing in my neighborhood I would EXPECT an officer to make every effort to locate the child. And YES that includes entering my backyard without my my permission. A warrant to enter my backyard when a child's life is in danger? Really? If my dog, who is a cross between a German sheppard and a Husky who I've owned since he was a puppy, threatened this officer to the point that he needed to be shot then so be it. A child's life was at stake. End of story.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    June 28, 2014 2:44 a.m.

    "One person wrote that they would shoot Olsen if they could."

    See folks, this is where you lose the rest of us. We love our pets too. And we feel sad when they die. Some get hit by cars. Others eat pennies and die of zinc poisoning. Most get old and fat and we pay the vet to kill them. But no matter how they die, we feel sad.

    Now that you know we love dogs too, let's dial it down for a second a think about this like rational adults. How many times has this happened in the past week? Month? Year? Does this officer show a pattern of entering people's property and shooting their pets? What about the whole department? How many times has the SLPD done this? Is there evidence that the SLPD have it out for dogs?

    If you can only point to this one example, doesn't that say this was just an unfortunate, isolated circumstance? With that in mind, is the crusade really necessary? Perhaps we could somehow channel this fervor into preventing the next child from being kidnapped and killed.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:58 p.m.

    In my not so humble opinion I perceive that one issue is attitude. Attitude that the police can do just about anything they want, stall for time via an "investigation" in the hopes that other news will push the event to the last page of the want ads.

    In one way this helps substantiate the theory that just one "Aw shucks" wipes out ten "Atta Boys".

    A little more conciliatory tone from the chief would not hurt. It is an emotional issue fraught with some serious 4th Amendment concerns that seems to have raised the public response. The newspapers and internet are relating other police department shootings and this too is on the public mind. See Albuquerque, NM for example, and WVC doesn't help.

    Hopefully the City will pony up for a new animal, some mediation for the possible issue of entering private property without a warrant or probable cause, and a mea culpa should about do it.

  • BRam Pocatello, ID
    June 27, 2014 11:56 p.m.

    So the chief expects people to respect an officer who does not respect other's property or even their right to keep police out of their home without a warrant? Sounds like the chief and his department doesn't respect the citizens much. Should he really be surprised that the citizens don't respect his officers? The dog being "close" and the search for a child is an attempt to introduce irrelevant slight of hand. Of course people want children to be safe. And, if the dog was at large and attacking....well, that is a different story that has nothing to do with going onto someone's private property and killing their pet; especially when there were numerous other options. His reaction and those who support it are typical of those who demand responsibility and accountability of everyone but themselves.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:38 p.m.

    I don't understand the bureaucracy that takes a month to complete the review of a dog shooting. There doesn't appear to be any witness and the scene seems pretty simple. Is a month what experts believe it takes for the community to chill-out?

    I agree it is totally wrong to threaten the officer. However, I do think the community deserves a full accounting of what took place. Some of the comments here refer to an attack or they refer to a vicious dog. I have never heard a report stating that the officer was attacked. Likewise, has there been any evidence shown that this dog was vicious? It would be nice to know the facts.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:57 p.m.

    Chief Burbank is outraged that anyone questions his police officers, about anything.

    While the threats against the officer involved in the dog shooting are inappropriate, Burbank seems to be the poster child for the arrogance and too-quick to use force mentality which has infected so many police departments as they become more militarized and politicized.

    Burbank is very selective about his outrage, and use of his officers. For instance, he has unilaterally made Salt Lake City a "sanctuary city" by refusing to enforce immigration laws, even though many crimes would not take place if the perpetrators had been sent home instead of allowed to stay here to prey on others.

    Chief Burbank should resign.

  • Dougmerrell Woods cross, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:54 p.m.

    You can't compare people being killed and this dog being killed unless you compare it to a cop entering someone's backyard without a warrant and shooting the resident in the head without cause, then you can compare the two. This cop should be fired, the chief relieved of duty for defending this action, and the dog owner should receive a few million dollars to make a point, cops are not free to do what ever they want to do. Don't you think this dog would be going berserk if this little girl was in the back yard? Think about it, what this cop did is inexcusable, and must be dealt with properly.

  • EL TAB Orem, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    It is sad about the dog's death, but his owner, in my mind, is way over the top on this.. As for the 30,000 people who supposedly will show up at the rally...I just don't know what to say about them. Where were all these "caring people" when that police officer was shot recently in Utah County, during a freeway chase?

  • Beverly Jean Fairfax, VA
    June 27, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    My husband has been in law enforcement for over 40 years and spent part of that time as a street cop in some of the meanest streets of the city. In all those years, I have never heard of him nor any of his fellow officers shooting a dog. He was actually in the papers for saving one. Not all cops are trigger happy. And many, like my husband, are dog lovers who would rather risk being bitten than taking the life of a furry family member. Maybe better training may help to avoid this tragedy in the future ... or just a heart.

  • GR SANTA CLARITA, CA
    June 27, 2014 10:06 p.m.

    @NeilT
    Mail carriers and meter readers don't go around killing customer's dogs. At least most of them, although a meter reader once hit my friend's dog on the face with a shovel causing to lose an eye. The meter reader was fired and the utility paid for the vet bills. The dog lost one eye and had a nasty scar on its face. Besides, meter readers have !y permission to enter my yard. I keep my gates locked, and the utilities have keys to the locks that I gave them. The point is, you are comparing apples and oranges.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:03 p.m.

    Human life v an animals life?

    False dichotomy anyone?

    The issue was never the above.

    Nice try though...Chief.

    For starters...

    The issue is SLCPD.

    The issue is the need for a well trained, well armed veteran police officer shooting a dog.

    The issue is an officer going directly to deadly force as the go to solution.

    The issue is what kind of training would lead an officer to make deadly force the go to solution.

    Answers to those issues are warranted.

    The public lecture delivered by the Police Chief only hastens the disrespect he seems to be trying to prevent.

  • GR SANTA CLARITA, CA
    June 27, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    I think the public is fed up with law enforcement's abuse of power and the chief's arrogance and failure to address or at least acknowledge such concerns. That is the real issue. Obviously the child's and the officer's lives are more important. Shooting a dog where the dog is supposed to be or shooting an unarmed 21 year old girl are just demonstrations of that abuse of power. I think the community's lashing out can be interpreted as saying "ENOUGH".

  • Sister McGoo Cushing, OK
    June 27, 2014 9:46 p.m.

    Now we know why the owner isnt getting anywhere with the police on justice for Geist. there is a systemic lack of respect for citizens, their right, and for life in general. clearly this is a police department where the culture is that might makes right, and their power is all that matters, starting with the cheif and carryig theough to its officers on the street. their lack of respect for this family and the lack of remorce is very telling and shameful. do better cheif! this is unacceptable!

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    Mail carriers and meter readers enter private property all the time. Do they need a warrant. I think not. We are talking about a backyard which in many cases is in plain view. If a large dog lunged at me I and I have a firearm I would have shot it and asked questions later. As far as the off topic comment about enforcing immigration laws. immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, not local. SLC does not have the resources to even begin to enforce immigration law.

    Kudos to Chief Burbank.

  • Left Field Cocoa Beach, FL
    June 27, 2014 8:59 p.m.

    I don't care if the dog came at the officer with nunchucks and brass knuckles, if the officer was entering a fenced private backyard, the dog was only doing its duty. Something other than deadly force should have been taken by the officer if a yard search was deemed essential. No excuses.
    The outrage expressed by some members of the community is not a sign that they perceive the value of the dog's life to be equal to that of a human, but rather a reaction to the total disregard shown by the officer for the life of the dog...a dog that was where it was supposed to be, doing what it was supposed to do. Time was not so much of the essence that other means to subdue the dog could not have been employed.
    I fully expect the police chief to backpedal a bit on his righteous indignation speech when he gets the backlash he deserves for this misguided public chiding.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:51 p.m.

    The Chief failed to recognize or address what is truly at the heart of public outcry. He further offends us by insulting our intelligence - does he really think citizens value Kanine life above Human life? Don't be silly, Chief. The real issue is that the officer failed to have good reason, failed to have a warrant, failed to be "in pursuit", and failed to respect private property! If this officer acted legally and properly, then there is no protection from unlawful searches and seizures. All any officer has to do is claim that there might be a missing child somewhere and that gives him justification for going into any home, business, church, school, or even automobile he wants to, and if there is any resistance, he gets to shoot whomever he pleases - as long as the perceived threat I'd "close" enough!

    That is nonsense, and the public has every right, as well as the duty, to resist such abuse of police authority as this!

    Sorry, Chief, but you are wrong, big time. That officer had NO business in that yard!

    Even an heroic dog named Geist knew it!

  • njpray Polson, MT
    June 27, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    Having had a husband in law enforcement for 17 years, I am grateful for the response of this police chief. I never knew what he was going to face when he went out the door each day, but I heard many of the things he did face. When a large angry dog comes at you.....you only have seconds to react. I am sorry for the loss of the dog, but I would be much more sorry for the officer if the dog got the upper hand and seriously injured him. People need to put things in perspective. A child was missing, and a dog was shot because he attacked the officer. I side on the part of finding the child, and on the side of the officer doing his best to find that child.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    Officers shooting dogs in backyards is simply dis-respectful at best. There are countless better ways that situation could have been handled.

    We fear the police because they can do what they want, it's no wonder people are lashing out.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 27, 2014 8:39 p.m.

    people need to be respectful of the officer and the police no question ...however I didn't sense from Burbank in this article that he had much if any remorse over the killing of this beautiful dog. I'm not sure what the dog being "close" has to do with anything ...good grief the officer broke into private property into a fenced back yard and then shot the dog. The dog did NOTHING wrong. The police did EVERYTHING wrong. Where was the pepper spray that the officer could have used instead of a .40 cal to the head? Looking for a lost child is wonderful but everything must be done with common sense and respect for citizens rights and the police showed niether in this case. The police dept owes this man a very large $$$ compensation at the very least along with a heartfelt apology.

  • Zac Ogden, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    In other words, the chief is saying stop questioning us, we can do whatever we want.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:35 p.m.

    IQ92:

    That was not the chief's point. Criticism is fine. But threats against a veteran officer while the investigation is ongoing is crazy.

  • Corom88 Springville, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    I think there is more than just an officer shooting a dog. There is an officer who entered private property, who THEN shot a dog who was in this fenced yard. I don't agree the officer should receive death threats, or that other officers need to be harassed for what happened, they didn't pull the trigger. I think people can and should be outraged that this officer trespassed on private property, the policies need to be re-evaluated. Yes there was a child missing, but the officer could have looked over the fence and called animal control, or he could have used his mace, or his taser. Instead he used lethal force as his first option. That kind of reaction towards a human would be completely unacceptable, and yes, there would be JUST as much outcry from the public.

  • HarleyHog Layton, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    I completely agree with the Chief and express my admiration for him standing up for his officers. People should always be a higher priority than animals. I support the officer and hope that things go well for him and his use of judgement in a threatening situation is found reasonable and prudent.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    June 27, 2014 6:31 p.m.

    The Chief is wrong by his own standards. The Cheif says he tells his officers to be respectful, this is the root of the problem. His detective was not being respectful to the citizens and now the Cheif stands and lectures the public on how to behave. The police have acted as if they are above the law. You cannot allow the police to enter private property and shoot animals. It was wrong to discharge a firearm in someone's backyard and it was wrong to kill a dog in his own backyard. As far as I am concerned the Chief looks worse today then yesterday.

  • General Alpine, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    If the child is in the back yard with the dog and the dog doesn't have blood on it, why not take the time to call animal control and have them subdue the dog. Better yet, why wouldn't the police have a snare tool to slip over the dog's head like animal control. Or why didn't he taze the dog.

  • BVD PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    I have yet to meet an aggressive weimaraner, not that it isn't possible, just haven't met one. What I have seen is a very vocal animal who tries to intimidate with a very audible bark in order to ward off possible threats to it's family. I don't blame the officer for wanting to check the yard. I do find it hard to believe that the dog wasn't barking long before he entered the enclosed area. It's not their style. If the dog was barking and the officer deemed it a threat, why did he enter, why not call for a professional who could tranquilize the dog? So many questions need to be answered. As far as death threats against the officer? That is unacceptable.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:22 p.m.

    I have a dog I love and this story affected me. I wish it were possible the officer could have seen a way to save himself and the dog.

    The chief is right the officer should not be abused by the public. I hope all concerned can forgive him keeping in mind he may not need forgiveness in that he may have acted correctly. In any case, staying mad will not bring the dog back.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    June 27, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    What about property rights. To me this is completely different than a loose dog, or a dog in a yard where a crime has occured or is in progress. This man, and his dog, had nothing to do with the missing child. They found the kid in his parents basement. Maybe before they started wandering in people's back yards they should look in the most likely place.

  • GR SANTA CLARITA, CA
    June 27, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    How about a sincere apology? There is not even a small trace of an apology in here, at the contrary. there is an abundance of a "my guys can do no wrong" attitude. I understand the urgency of finding the child, but does that warrant entering private property without permission and then killing the family dog on top of that? Like some other poster said the other day, it's a slippery slope. Was it physically possible for the child to open the gate? Logic must be employed, not just "feelings". With that being said, threats to law enforcement are definitely not warranted. There is a legal system, flawed as it may be, that makes this country better than a third world country, barely.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    I certainly respect his passion

    ...but why was an officer hopping fences and going on private property without a warrant? That is what concerns me. If we make an exception here, the next one is easier, and easier, and easier. The 4th amendment sadly, has lost a lot of its punch.

    Unless the officer had a reasonable suspicion the child was there (e.g. he saw the child, or something that looked like blood on a fence) or had prior permission from the owner, he had no right to enter. None. He should have gotten a warrant, unless he had, again, reasonable suspicion it would endanger the child to wait. Whereas the child was found at home (and I have the benefit of hindsight), it is hard to see such a suspicion being present.

    I understand a missing child is of grave concern, and had it been mine I would probably be much more supportive of this dectective; but from an objective point of view, once we corrode the 4th amendment (one whose deliberate purpose was to prevent a police state) we have lost much of our freedom.

  • Craigo Ivins, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    Well put chief. If he hadn't gone into the back yard because of the dog, and the child was eventually found back there, the poor cop would have been fired for not doing his job. Its sad that no matter what some do, they cant win. I love my Dog, but my wife and I have always said, that if my dog ever showed her teeth, she dies. There is no place for a vicious dog in a neighborhood, unless you live in the hood :)

  • Beulah South Jordan, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:28 p.m.

    At last. Someone using common sense to stand up to a popular but knee-jerk tsunami of public opinion. Thanks, officers!

  • IQ92 hi, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    Not impressed by SLC Chief. His arguement seemed to be: officer did good things in the past, so don't criticise him if he shoots your dog.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:21 p.m.

    Lost child vs. dog. Thanks for putting it in perspective, Chief.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    June 27, 2014 5:21 p.m.

    I'd work under a chief like that any day. I loved my Weimaraner, but if my dog acted bad, and I had a missing child, do what needs to be done.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    The Chief is completely correct. And I also wonder about the outcry for an animal when so much human death and suffering goes unrecognized. Threats of violence should never be considered a legitimate form of public dialogue.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    June 27, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    I do not respect the Chief inasmuch as he has said he will not enforce immigration laws! Disgraceful.