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Raleigh, N.C. — A court hearing began Monday to decide whether a state trooper fired for alleged animal abuse will get his job back.

Former Sgt. Charles Jones, a 12-year veteran in charge of K-9 training for the Highway Patrol, was fired in September after another trooper turned over two 15-second video clips of him allegedly abusing his K-9 partner, Ricoh.

The Office of Administrative Hearings – a quasi-judicial agency – began proceedings Monday in a lawsuit that Jones filed against the state in December, alleging that procedures were violated when he was fired. The hearing will reconvene on Tuesday.

Monday's proceedings focused on the video clips that Trooper Ray Herndon recorded on his cell phone after he saw Jones using what he thought might be abusive techniques at a training exercise in Garner last summer.

"I was torn; I didn't know what to do. Should I go stop him?" Herndon, a 21-year-veteran of the force, testified Monday. "So I did what I thought was right at the time."

Court documents say the incident began when Ricoh refused to release a chew reward. One video shows Jones tying the dog's leash to a high railing so that only his hind legs touched the ground. He then kicked the dog's leg four times.

"Then he'd pull him back up a good distance off the ground, using the lead in an attempt to get the dog to lech the toy or let the toy go," Herndon said. He added that he did not think Jones was intentionally trying to harm or abuse Ricoh.

The second video clip shows Jones apparently leaving the dog alone, hanging upright from its leash and collar.

Jones' lawyer, Jack O'Hare, claimed that the video clips show Jones using training techniques that he had been taught by the Highway Patrol. Ricoh was a particularly aggressive dog that required extra training, the attorney said.

"Sgt. Jones acted in the manner in which he was trained, even though it was an ugly manner," O'Hare said.

The Highway Patrol's manual does not specify any dog-training methods that are banned or allowed, O'Hare said. He described commonly used methods, such as swinging a dog around by the neck or wrestling it to the ground and holding its jaws open, that could be considered abusive.

Capt. Ken Castelloe, head of the patrol's internal affairs office, testified that the first video clip was ordinary, but not the second. Castelloe said he was disturbed that Jones had left Ricoh after the dog dropped the toy.

Bryan Beatty, secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, testified that Jones was fired only after a careful review.

"I concluded that that was not a technique that anyone had seen," Beatty said. "It was not a technique that was acceptable within Highway Patrol policy."

O'Hare repeated charged that the Governor's Press Office pressured the Highway Patrol to fire Jones without due process. In a deposition last week, Lt. Col. Cecil Lockley said that "unlawful political intervention" forced him to fire Jones.

Beatty and the Highway Patrol made public their intentions to fire Jones a day before his pre-dismissal hearing, O'Hare said.

The assistant district attorney argued that the video itself provided enough evidence to justify Jones' firing, and the state did not act inappropriately.

In court documents, the Highway Patrol said that Beatty, not Lockley, made the final decision to fire Jones.

O'Hare argued that Jones became a victim of the Highway Patrol's efforts to clean up after a series of embarrassing misconduct allegations were laid against troopers. The incident also occurred during the height of the dog-fighting scandal surrounding Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, the attorney said.

Gov. Mike Easley ordered the Highway Patrol to hire a consultant to review its procedures, including the hiring, training and promotion of troopers. The consultant's findings are expected in the next few weeks.

A veterinarian examined Ricoh and found that he was OK shortly after the training exercise. The Highway Patrol removed Ricoh from Jones' care, and the dog is no longer actively working on the force.

Article: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2803389/

Video: http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/2803930/
 

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I wonder what lesson the dog learned??
 

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Abuse!


He's probably one of those patrol guys who pulls you over with that high & mighty attitude.
 

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I hate to break it to you but certain police depts in the past and still today teach their officers to tighten the collar around their k9's neck and swing it around when it truly acts up.

Obviously I'm not for this but my father in law was a k9 cop with a GSD for 15 years. He did this technique back in the day. He wasn't familiar with any dogs but that dog and he was told by the dept that that's how you discipline these type of dogs.

Sad but true. =(
 

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Originally Posted By: G-burgI wonder what lesson the dog learned??
I wonder the same thing.

"Hanging" and "helicoptering" dog was considered appropriate for aggression years ago. But there are better, safer methods available. I have no problem with a very stern correction but not choking a dog and leaving it.

Hope the dismissal is upheld.
 

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Isn't this technique still used by many people to deal with "aggressive" dogs? There's an article about on the Leerberg site for sure. And I've seen K9 cops do this as part of a routine demo of what their dog can do (this was about 8 years ago). When I questioned the technique I was told it was standard practice for getting an out from a working dog and that the dog could take it.
I think it's totally abusive but I also think it's quite common.
 

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I find it difficult to believe that anyone with a brain between their ears would think that is a way of training a dog to be a better police dog or deal with an aggressive dog. There are thousands of ways to deal with aggressive dogs that don't involve tying them by the neck and kicking them. And they work.

Anyone doing that to a dog has a severe emotional problem and it will rear it's head towards a human at any given moment. It does not matter if it is a technique that is part of a training program. If you can do that to a dog, you can do that to a human.
 

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Originally Posted By: DanoI find it difficult to believe that anyone with a brain between their ears would think that is a way of training a dog to be a better police dog or deal with an aggressive dog. There are thousands of ways to deal with aggressive dogs that don't involve tying them by the neck and kicking them. And they work.

Anyone doing that to a dog has a severe emotional problem and it will rear it's head towards a human at any given moment. It does not matter if it is a technique that is part of a training program. If you can do that to a dog, you can do that to a human.
Well said and I agree 100%.
 

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Originally Posted By: Darcy1
Originally Posted By: DanoI find it difficult to believe that anyone with a brain between their ears would think that is a way of training a dog to be a better police dog or deal with an aggressive dog. There are thousands of ways to deal with aggressive dogs that don't involve tying them by the neck and kicking them. And they work.

Anyone doing that to a dog has a severe emotional problem and it will rear it's head towards a human at any given moment. It does not matter if it is a technique that is part of a training program. If you can do that to a dog, you can do that to a human.
Well said and I agree 100%.
I agree too.

Somebody needs to hang this jackalope like a pinata and hand out the bats for free swings.

He should never be an officer of any kind.
 

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Made the mistake of watching the video. Now I feel sick.

The trooper justified it by saying the dog was "particularly aggressive." I wonder why? Maybe because he feared for his life around this poor excuse for a human being?
 

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There are rare times when a dog is held off the ground by a leash in police training, but the only times I have heard of or seen is when the dog is going after the handler. And the dog is never kicked or beaten when it is held up. The goal is not to injure the dog....it is to stop the attack on the handler. It is simply held up until it stops trying to attack the handler. Then training goes on. I have never heard of it being used in order to "out" a reward toy....that is abusive and there is no excuse.
 

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It would have made for an interesting court hearing if it included a demonstration in which the trooper was strung up by his neck and then people could kick his legs and feet and see how it went.
 

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I know 2 police K9's and their handlers (obviously) both are happy working dogs and they are not disciplined in this fashion. I think this technique is old and a little barbaric.

I have taken my dogs by a buckle collar and put pressure on them to bring front toes up off to where they are on tip toe too. This is simply done when some restraint is needed by the dog. This is done without emotion to earn compliance from a well trained dog who has made the wrong choice. It takes about a second to communicate to the dog that I need them to cease doing what they were doing which is generally acting like a butthead with thier other canine housemates.
 

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Gosh guys, I really hate to tell you this but here in TN my 10 year old was in the dog group for 4-H last year and the trainers (that breed GSDs by the way) in our county were teaching the kids to correct the dogs with choke chains by jerking (not a quick snap) and picking their front legs up off of the ground. Haley was the only one to say "Stop, you are hurting my dogs neck" when they tried to show her she needed to be more forceful. This was with our "fearful" older dog that I have posted about before. He is so gentle, smart and eager to please that corrections like this just shut him down. I talked with the person in charge of her club and she was shocked that I had a problem with this. I contacted 4-H headquarters and they said there was no rules against this. We have not been back but I still feel sick that this is being taught to kids in our county and wish I could make it change. We use positive methods to teach our dogs and I know of lots of GSD owners and trainers that use some compulsion to proof once they are sure their dogs know what is expected. I'm even ok with compulsion used in cases where a dog is in danger of hurting someone or it's self if it is not controled. What we were seeing was harsh compulsion used no matter what the temperment of the dog is and no matter if they even knew what they were supposed to do or not. The kids were not allowed to use any food for rewards. It was unbeleivable. We live in a rural area and I was told that people in our county see dogs as farm animals along the lines of livestock. I know its not as shocking as the video but i know for sure there are still lots of people out there that really see nothing wrong treating animals this way, in fact they think they are doing a good job by dominating them and breaking their spirit. I wish I would of taken a video with my phone!- by the way, one county away from us they have awesome 4-H trainers (that also train and breed GSDs) so I don't want to attack 4-H as a whole, just say that in some rural areas barbaric ways are not just used but still being taught to children! Give those kids a couple more years and they will also be helicoptering dogs and saying "But thats what I was taught!"
 

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what part of TN are you in? You can PM me it if you want. Im in TN too.
 
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