Peoria K-9 handler cleared of any wrong-doing

Posted at 9:04 AM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 12:04:11-04

A Peoria Police Department K-9 handler, who came under investigation last month after video surfaced depicting him aggressively handling his dog has been cleared of any wrong-doing.

The investigation determined that the 10-year police department veteran "was in compliance with department police and Arizona law" and his actions were "corrective in nature and were not intended to nor did they hurt the canine," according to the report.

The report says the handler was attempting to regain the 3-year-old Belgian Malinois' focus and that his actions were consistent with what outside experts would recommend. Experts told police that these actions can be effective when a canine ignores verbal commands.

In the video, which was submitted to media outlets by a citizen, the officer appears to bring his leg up to the dog's head and at another point whips the dog's leash up and down.

"These were serious allegations, and ones we took seriously from the outset," said Peoria police in a statement.

A veterinarian evaluated the dog and found him to be in "good health and showed no signs of injury or distress," according to the report.

The officer and canine were assisting in a door-to-door search for two armed robbery suspects on August 29 near 87th and Peoria avenues.

Both the canine and his handler, who was not identified, are continuing on their regular assignments.