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PAPD K9 bites man; review under way

An internal investigation has been launched in the Port Arthur Police Department after an officer’s police dog bit a customer at Verizon last week.

The officer, whose name has not been released, was reportedly working off-duty security at the Verizon store on Memorial Boulevard on May 21 when the incident occurred. PAPD Chief Tim Duriso said there was an interaction between the K9 and the man but could not answer on whether the officer was supposed to bring the K9 inside the store, saying it is under review.

“We are gathering all of the facts on what happened to make a determination,” Duriso said.

The officer, who has been with the department for 15 years, remains on duty but the dog is not active at this point, he said.

Kate Jay, South Area Communications with Verizon Consumer Group, confirmed via email that the incident occurred.

“The safety of both our customers and employees is of utmost importance. We have been working closely with the Port Arthur Police Department; they are taking the appropriate actions internally and are also engaged with the impacted customer. We will continue to work with authorities that proper protocols are followed to ensure customer and employee safety,” Jay said.

The extent of the man’s injuries were not known but Duriso said the man did go to the hospital. In addition, he said the officer did follow policy and let a supervisor know the incident occurred.

The chief could not speculate on how long the investigation would take, saying it depends on several things such as finding witnesses, talking to other officers, reviewing policy and more.

“Anytime there is an incident we want to be as thorough as possible. This is not something we want to rush through; we want to make sure to cover all of our bases,” he said.

But, he added, he doesn’t want the investigation to go too slowly so that if there are problems they can be addressed in a timely manner.

 

See also: Commissioners, JCSO discuss dog problem