By editorial board • 

Abundance of dog-related calls one of many burdens for police

Pooch left in a hot car? Call the cops.

Loose dog posing potential danger? Dial 911.

Dog bite suffered on the street? Get officers to the scene ASAP.

Canine issues have become a staple for local police agencies around the country.

It was one of the points Chief David Brown made when the slaying of five officers put the Dallas Police Department in the national spotlight.

“Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve,” he said. “Not enough mental health funding, let the cop handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding, let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we got a loose dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that as well.”

Yamhill County is no different. Listening to the scanner, one can catch dog-related calls on an almost daily basis. They run the gamut from petty barking-dog issues to serious safety risks, such as a pit bull attack on another dog or person.

The News-Register recently reported on the underfunding of McMinnville’s detective division. Resources at hand for local departments simply fail to match today’s call load. So we can understand how frustrating it must be for officers assisting at a crime scene to be called away for a dog-related issue.

McMinnville Patrol Captain Tim Symons said the force is dedicated to providing the public with whatever services it demands. That means canine issues are simply part of the job, he said.

The county operates a dog control program. But in the off hours, the McMinnville police are forced into becoming the default agency for dog issues.

It’s unfortunate the burden dog issues add to local police patrol officers, because so much of it can be avoided by owners exercising common sense. It’s just common sense to keep your dog from becoming a neighborhood nuisance or sweltering in a hot car.

Of course, lack of common sense is a thread that weaves through most incidents requiring police action.

There are, for sure, serious public safety concerns in certain dog-related incidents. For those, our local police serve and protect.

But society needs to consider the little things it can do to curb the volume of calls demanding police response. And responsible dog-ownership belongs on that list. It represents a good start.

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