APD Chief Responds to Shooting of Dog - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD Chief Responds to Shooting of Dog

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Austin Police Department Chief Acevedo's response to the death of Cisco:

"We are receiving thousands of e-mails and telephone calls on this matter. Many of the written and telephonic contacts with members of our department have been vile, and included serious threats, including threats to shoot our officer(s). I personally crafted the following response and I apologize in advance if you are offended by this fact. I am one person, with a department to run, a city to protect, and a family to love. I assure you that we will have some positive outcomes out of this incident, but we have to conduct our review in accordance with the law and our own policies, regardless of public sentiment. After meeting with and personally speaking with Officer Griffin (who is part of a household that includes family dogs, like most of our police department families), I know he feels badly for Mr. Paxton and Cisco. Officer Griffin has requested to personally meet with Mr. Paxton to extend his condolences. I have extended this offer to Mr. Paxton and he has indicated he will contact me when he is ready to meet with Officer Griffin.

The hyper-vigilance issue I refer to below is something that we will have to consider and monitor closely throughout our department and it has to be part of our review. As to the mob mentality I reference below, sorry, but when people are calling us and directing profanity laced insults and threats toward our employee(s) in writing and on telephone calls, I can't think of how else to describe it. While I expect to be subjected to public scrutiny, I don't expect people in this department to be subjected to the treatment they are receiving. Finally, please share this e-mail with whomever you would like, I stand by every word.

Thank you for your e-mail. We aren't ignoring the tragic death of Cisco the dog. We are conducting a comprehensive review of the incident to include the officer's actions, as well as our protocols/training and will report our findings to Mr. Paxton and the community we serve. On April 6, 2012, Good Friday, an Austin Police Officer who was gunned down and murdered when he responded to a call of a "disturbance" at a Wal-Mart. This death had a profound impact on our officers, and part of our current on-going review is what impact, if any, did this recent tragedy have on our officer in terms of how he approached this incident and how he responded: Did hyper-vigilance play a role, are our training, response protocols and policy best practices, what did the responding officer do right, what did he do wrong, what corrective action, if any is warranted, and what are the lessons learned. These are a lot of questions that have to be thoroughly explored and we can not allow a mob mentality to influence our follow-up in this matter.

Again, all of these issues are being reviewed and our findings will be released. I am confident that as a result of Cisco's death, some positive outcomes will result which will make it safer for our officers, the community we serve, and the pets we all love.
I have personally spoken to Mr. Paxton on more than one occasion and I publicly and privately expressed my condolences and apologized to him for the loss of his companion.

Please give us time to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review.

Sincerely,

ART ACEVEDO
Chief of Police
Austin Police Department
 

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