Hammond cop who allegedly abused K9 partner to receive more trai - FOX 32 News Chicago

Hammond cop who allegedly abused K9 partner to receive more training

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A Hammond, Ind. police officer who attracted attention when an online video surfaced allegedly showing him abusing his K9 partner will receive additional training, according to police officials.

Cell phone video of the incident was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month by a man who was watching the traffic stop from a friend's window. The video purportedly showed the officer slapping the dog's mid-section with a leash and lifting it off the ground by its neck.

In a statement released Monday, Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said the officer was conducting a search of the suspect's vehicle when the dog gave a positive response for illegal contraband inside.

As is common protocol, the dog was given a ball as a reward but it failed to return the ball to the officer upon command. According to Doughty, the officer is required to retrieve the ball before putting the dog into the car kennel to prevent it from ingesting the ball.

RELATED: WATCH: Hammond cop allegedly abuses K9 partner (*Caution: Video contains language)

"The officer is trained to use upward pressure on the leash giving the command 'out' until the ball is released and retrieved," Doughty said.

Vohne Liche Kennels, an international K9 training facility which was asked by the Hammond Police Department to review the incident, said in its analysis that the technique is designed to force the dog to release the ball by restricting its air.

"In some cases the dog figures out that standing on his hind legs also releases pressure and it appears the handler is hanging the dog but in reality he is applying the same pressure," said Dan Parker, director of law enforcement operations at Vohne Liche Kennels.

It was at that point that the video showed the officer slap the dog with its leash to force it to release the ball. Parker says the handler's actions were not in line with how he was trained.

"Under no circumstances should a handler ever slap his K9 in the shoulders with his leash as a distraction technique to get them to release the ball," Parker said. "The handlers technique was not the way he was taught but was not abuse."

After conducting a review of the incident, Doughty concluded that while some of the techniques the officer used were "outside the normal routine and training," the officer needed to get the dog back into its kennel as quickly as possible in order to return to his duties as backup to the arresting officer.

Doughty also says the dog was not harmed or abused in any way.

"The short video clip that went public clearly shows the dog waging [sic] his tail and is ready to go back to work after releasing the ball," Doughty said.

He says the officer, who was placed on administrative leave, will receive additional training to prevent any further incidents of this type as was recommended by Vohne Liche Kennels.

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