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Comments about ‘'No trespassing' sign may not stop officers from entering yard’

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Published: Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:30 p.m. MDT

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Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

A property owner can legally keep me from trespassing on his property. But a police officer with a search warrant or on what the courts call 'probable cause' is a whole other ball game. But I'm OK with the guy making a few bucks off of the sale of his signs.

Palintram
Holladay, UT

No surprise here. When a child is missing and a cop needs to go on your property, he or she will do so. Your dog is not a child, no matter if you disagree.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

There was no exigent situation. There was no probable cause.

This man lived a fair distance away from the child's home; it's not as though he was a next door neighbor. There was zero reason to believe the child might have entered his closed gates and closed the gates behind itself.

The child had never left the home. The dog was shot roughly half an hour after the child was found.

There are 800,000 missing child cases reported in this nation every year. Figure urban density into that and it's likely that most people live with a mile of a reported missing child case each year. Just because some child is missing somewhere does not mean all Americans everywhere forfeit all their rights of property and privacy. Nor does it authorize the indiscriminate and mindless use of deadly force.

kkstout
LEXINGTON, SC

The law may trump the sign, but hopefully the sign will remind the officers that our pets are important to us. Perhaps the sign will work as a yield signal to pause before shooting an animal.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The radical right teaches us that everything within their property is untouchable to anyone all the time. That property is more important than human lives. Just look at how the right treats our soldiers and Walmart employees! This is a false and corrupt teaching. If a baby goes missing and a cop has a suspicion that the baby may be within your property then by golly he should be able to. Human lives are more important than property.

I support our law enforcement. While that let's death was unfortunate, the rescued baby was far more important. No matter what radicals try to preach.

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

@The Real Maverick

You support law enforcement no matter what they do? Invading a latched, private yard many houses away seems reasonable to you? How many 3 year olds can open a latched gate? Not to mention the boy had been found for 20+ minutes before the shooting and no recall over their radios?

I support law enforcement when they follow the law, police procedures and use common sense.

Law enforcement makes many mistakes and unfortunately many officers make it worse by thinking they are above the law or justified in ignoring the law and following police procedures. The end does not justify the means!

Unfortunately, law enforcement attracts physically aggressive people and some of these people use their position as a law enforcement officer to satisfy their need for aggression. In addition, police are taught to be verbally and physically aggressive in order to control any situation they encounter. We have to expect many will go over the line in their behavior!

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Though this was not an abutting property the police still progressed through the search zone until the person or child is found. Communications was continuous and not random but organized.

The law says that all emergency responders (Firemen, Ambulance, and police) can breach even remove fencing or barriers in accessing person or property who needs emergency services. The law also says that trained guard dogs to attack must be registered with the cities and that leashes or dog runs must be in the yard. If dog owners are not home then dogs must be restrained with dog runs or leashes and yards marked with signs when they have dogs. The owner violated many laws here and he's lucky he's not in jail for improperly registered dog.

I know my neighbors dog pack is an aggressive threat to the neighborhood and if they ever get loose I fear someone will be hurt, including the dogs. The owners have a responsibility to a neighborhood for proper restraint and posting of dogs and signs. Dogs are territorial pack animals and when loose all breeds are a threat to everyone.

Dogs are animals, only people have rights.

shadow01
Edwardsville, IL

Nice thing 'bout livin backe here in IL is I can look at this in a few interesting ways and ask some questions that haven't been asked.
fer instance:
was there anything warning people that a dog was on the property that would have given the officer pause to think before barging into the fenced in yard?
Did the officer stop to think how a 3 year old would open the gate?
Once finding the home owners not home, was there any thought of searching surrounding property first then returning to questionable property?
How about figuring out why it took so long to call off the search once the child was found safe at home?
As far as the signs are concerned, the guy has a good idea, but it probably won't do a whole lot of good. Some people may purchase them now but soon it will be just another Beware of Dog sign on the shelf at the local hardware store.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

I did process serving while attending college. I was on a porch when a dog I never saw lunged at me. Scared me to death. I am with the police officers on this one. I don't know where the public is getting all this information from. I never read any of it in the paper. Remember the Gage Wayment tragedy. His three old son wandered over a mile in the woods. It took days to find him.

As far as the signs they are worthless. No Police Officer is going to call animal control over a dog in a yard.

Smart Aleck
Vancouver, WA

According to the sign, the presumption is that if you're NOT law enforcement, then the owner DOES consent to a search. Go figure.

And regardless of what the sign says, if a dog is a threat to me or my family, the dog is fair game.

No joke.

silverbear
Goshen, UT

When will the cops stop bullying citizens just because they can. We need to put a muzzle on the cops instead of our dogs. They have WAY to much power and authority. Especially in West Valley City where the cops have a Gestapo mentality.

Meckofahess
Salt Lake City, UT

I believe most police officers are well aware that our pets are very important to us. I do not believe these important public servants will wantonly enter private property without a reasonable need to do so in the vast majority of cases. I for one am very grateful for these brave men and women who strive to look out for the public safety, they are more than welcome to enter my back yard anytime they think a missing child could be near or in my home. It would be a difficult situation to be searching for a missing child and suddenly find yourself being abruptly approached by an angry dog. In such a situation the police have few options (it isn't like this happens over the course of minutes - it happens in a matter of seconds). My hat is off to our police officers, highway patrol officers and other public employees who have tough jobs to do every day!

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...It would be a difficult situation to be searching for a missing child and suddenly find yourself being abruptly approached by an angry dog...".

The dog was shot by a veteran, well-armed, well trained police officer.

A veteran, well armed, well trained police officer is trained to handle sudden/abrupt problems.

The dog was shot nearly one-half hour AFTER the child was found (see comment above).

"...Just because some child is missing somewhere does not mean all Americans everywhere forfeit all their rights of property and privacy. Nor does it authorize the indiscriminate and mindless use of deadly force..." (see comment above).

The shooting of this dog was not an exigent circumstance.

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