David Gomez is one of just two officers with the Meridian Police Department who has completed a class in Defensive Tactics Canine Encounters. There, officers are taught to use non-lethal means in an effort to subdue vicious dogs. That training came in handy when Officer Gomez got dispatched to a neighborhood in Meridian, Idaho, where not one, but two very agitated dogs were running around loose.
Gomez, who was wearing a body camera at the time of the encounter, employed some of the lessons he had learned at that class, and the video from his camera was shared on social media.
When Gomez exits the car armed with a collapsible baton and dog spray, he calls for the “puppies” to come. The dogs come, but they are anything but cute, cuddly puppies and immediately start acting aggressively toward Officer Gomez.
As Gomez works to keep the attention of the two dogs, folks start coming out of their homes. Gomez firsts ask if the dogs belong to them, and when they say no, he suggests that they go back inside because the dogs are “not very friendly.”
One of the dogs is foaming at the mouth and immediately charges Officer Gomez before pulling away at the last moment. Gomez maintains his cool and calls for backup. While he waits, the dogs take turns charging Gomez before pulling back. This goes on for several minutes, with Officer Gomez trying to get the dogs to settle down until he is forced to spray one of the dogs that gets too close.
Then Gomez has an idea. He opens the police cruiser door and asked the dogs if they “Want to go for a ride?” in a very calm manner. The dogs investigate the open door. “Load up! Load up! Good boy!” Gomez says as one dog jumps in, and the the second dog, after hesitating several times, gets into the back seat of the police cruiser.
“How do you like me now?” Gomez says as he shuts the door.
With the exception of having to spray one of the dogs, Gomez was calm and his demeanor was as if he were talking to his own dogs. The video is telling especially because some estimates say that a pet dog is killed by police every 98 minutes in the United States. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of hard data on the number of dogs that are killed by police, as there isn’t an official database that documents the deaths.
Officer Gomez showed incredible poise in a very tough situation, and the dogs’ owners, who were cited for vicious dogs at large, should to thank him for not shooting and killing them.