Cops need to be armed with peanut butter and frisbees.

You know by now that both Law Dude and I have a soft spot for dogs.  Ray’s dog picture is occasionally one of the highest viewed posts on this sorry, pathetic excuse for a web page.  My post about dog searches (which features a video of my puppy, “Bacon”) still gets a steady stream of traffic.

So this recent story about the police killing a dog after responding to a complaint for barking strikes a nerve:

I know you just watched that and you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah… but Matt, they had to kill the dog. It was coming right for them!”  Yes. I’m sure it was.

But, lets put the sarcasm aside for a moment and pretend the dog did, in fact, come at them with the intent to chew their faces off.  The fact is that that was the end of the incident, not the beginning. The story makes it sound like the police tried to catch the dog for hours. Hours.  That, of course, is after the old man tried to get it in the house but the police surrounded it.

I’m not surprised a dog surrounded by strange men with guns got defensive rather than turned to go inside– that is, if it was even being defensive and not playful.

You can chase my dog for hours and not catch her. She’s fast. Once she knows you’re chasing, she thinks it’s a game.  Then you’re never going to catch her.

Want to get her to come close? Ignore her.  Walk away.  Stop chasing.  If she’s being playful she’ll usually swoop within grabbing distance.  You can also try such advanced techniques as throwing a frisbee, or stuffing a bone with peanut butter.  Either one can be used to get her to come really close.

In the hours the cops chased after this dog, do you think they ever tried that?  In the hours that dog was running loose before it presumably attacked them, I’d be interested in knowing exactly what they did. I’m betting the Dog Whisperer doesn’t need hours to catch a loose dog.

As a cranky taxpayer you don’t care, right? Somebody’s dog was being a pain in the ass and the cops killed it. No big deal, right?

Maybe.  If catching dogs is part of police officer’s responsibility then maybe they should be trained on how to do it without turning the neighborhood into a live target range.  If they’re not going to be trained how to do it correctly, then maybe they shouldn’t respond to such trivial matters as barking dogs.

The reality is that this dog is dead for the same reason that Robert Edward Saylor and the crabby old man with the cane are dead– because taxpayers want the cops to do a million things but don’t want to train them how to do a million things correctly.  While police techniques have advanced with the modern age, the theory behind police training is still stuck in the 50’s- and that’s that control and force are the safest, quickest ways to handle just about any situation.

I’m waiting for the day when the police academies have less force and control, and more patience, peanut butter and frisbees.  It’s just a shame that, when it happens, it will be too late for Robert Edward Saylor, and this little pooch.

That thing where cops increase drug dealing in your neighborhood to look like heroes.

Doesn’t happen, right?  The fuzz is there to serve-and-protect.  They’d never do anything to bring otherwise disinterested drug dealers into your neighborhood.  That seems silly.

Unless you live in Sunrise, Florida, anyway.  There, they think it’s a great idea.  According to the Sun Sentinel:

A money-making venture to lure out-of-town drug buyers into Sunrise to purchase cocaine from police has been halted as a result of a Sun Sentinel investigation.

* * *

The newspaper revealed that police enticed buyers with bargain prices and offers of coke on consignment.

You can see the city officials engage in some grade-A law enforcement boot-licking, and media bashing in this quick clip:

I find this amusing on two fronts. First, the cops aren’t trying to address any potential problems that may already exist in Sunrise, Fla.  They’re trying to create a problem. Second, their motivation is money.  They’re chasing Benjamins. You can learn more about chasing Benjamins in this quick clip:

How do they make money? Fairly easily, actually.  They arrest the drug dealers they’ve lured into town.  Then they “take all their stuff.”  If you didn’t already know, “take all their stuff” is lawyerspeak for what law enforcement calls “seizing” and “forfeiting” stuff (of course, if you did it to them, they’d call it “theft” or “stealing”).  So, after they’ve lured Johnny Drug Dealer into town, they arrest him, take all of the cash he brought with him, and also take his car (and possibly everything in it).

The Sun Sentinel published the results of a six-month investigation Oct. 6 and 7 exposing how the police department’s narcotics unit has made millions of dollars in recent years — not by capturing local drug dealers but by drawing high-dollar cocaine buyers into Sunrise from far away and then seizing their cash and cars.

Pretty awesome business plan, no?  You’ve already got the cops on the payroll, so there’s no additional overhead. Just sit back and watch the free money roll in.  Except, you don’t:

 The city also paid one lady informant — a charming, shapely brunette — more than $800,000 since 2008. She was credited by police with helping Sunrise set up 63 stings and reel in at least $5 million in cash and assets seized from criminals, according to a court record.

The newspaper also reported that a dozen undercover officers regularly working the stings made a total of $1.2 million in overtime over three-and-a-half years.

The hidden costs always get you, don’t they?

Thankfully, I’m not the only one that thinks intentionally luring gun-wielding drug dealers into neighborhoods with kids is a bad idea:

“It bothers me that they don’t see a problem with it,” Sunrise resident Roseanne Eckert told the Sun Sentinel Friday.

The mother of a teenage boy, Eckert wrote to the mayor earlier in the week, expressing concern about the safety of her son and his friends riding bikes near Sawgrass Mills, the sprawling outlet mall where undercover police and informants posing as cocaine dealers have staged stings.

“I now have to worry that your … police will be out guns blazing because of criminals they brought to our city?” she asked the mayor.

Nevertheless, the city officials support the program.  Sadly, they’ve been forced to shut it down because of the media attention.  The damn media always screws up every good law enforcement program.

Somewhat lost in the article is the scariest thing of all.  That’s the idea that even local policing isn’t about policing anymore.  In your state, in your city and in your neighborhood, there very will is a police department putting together a policy that looks more like a business plan than guidelines for being decent cops.  That may not bother you now, but it will once it makes good business sense to ignore your rights and arrest you.