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APD revises policy in hindsight of Cisco shooting

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The shooting of a dog by an Austin Police officer has sparked changes within the department.

Tuesday, an APD spokesperson announced a revised policy to deal with aggressive animals.

Last April, Officer Thomas Griffin was responding to a domestic disturbance call when he arrived at the wrong house.

Resident Michael Paxton put his hands up upon seeing Griffin, and seconds later, Paxton’s 7-year-old blue heeler approached Officer Griffin and was shot and killed.

The shooting prompted a review of the current policy on aggressive animals. APD officials say cadets will now receive two hours of instruction about how to deal with animals that are potentially dangerous.

They will learn how to read the body language of an animal and how to differentiate a perceived danger versus actual danger of the animal. Current officers will receive the same training in 30-minute blocks before their shifts start.

After an investigation into the specific Cisco incident, a police spokesperson says no policy violations were found.

The revised policy goes into place July 1. The new training begins immediately.

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