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DOG-KILLING NYPD CONSIDERS FREEZING INSTEAD OF SHOOTING.

Byline: New York Daily News

Police in New York City gun down so many dogs each year that the NYPD is considering freezing the canines instead of shooting them.

With almost a third of police shootings involving dogs, police brass want to replace bullets with frigid blasts from carbon dioxide fire extinguishers.

Dogs accounted for 27.4 percent of officer-involved shootings last year and 30.5 percent in 1995.

Most shootings involved pit bulls encountered inside apartments, usually by officers serving warrants or making drug arrests.

Since 1993, an explosion in the city's pit bull population, combined with more police drug and warrant raids, have fueled a 134 percent hike in dog killings by law enforcement over those years.

During the same period, seven officers, four suspects and two bystanders were accidentally hit during dog shootings. Twelve of those were hit by ricochets or bullet fragments.

``This is a significant percentage, because every time an officer discharges a round at an intended target, there is always a possibility that somebody else will be injured,'' said Chief Charles Mattes.

Mattes oversaw an extensive NYPD study of canine shootings. It concluded that narcotics and warrants officers would be safer armed with carbon dioxide fire extinguishers when confronted by vicious dogs.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 18, 1997
Words:208
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