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Officer injured, police dog killed during burglary call

Submitted by on 1, December 17, 2009 – 8:54 am7 Comments

12A police officer was injured and a police dog, shot and killed this morning as police responded to a reported burglary early this morning.

Police arrested Douglas Wayne Kirk, 56, and transported him to Alameda Hospital, where police said he was treated and released for minor lacerations he incurred during his arrest.

Police said they responded at 6:12 a.m. today to a report of a burglary in progress at the Coast Guard Recruiting Center at 660 Central Avenue when a police canine deployed during the initial investigation bit an officer. When the dog did not release the officer as commanded by his handler, the officer he bit shot and killed him.

The officer, a two year veteran of the department, was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment. The dog, Billy, a Belgian Malinois, had been in service for more than three years and had been certified to his handler in September.

Immediately after Billy was shot, the suspect, Kirk, came out of the building, police said. He was taken into custody after a brief struggle, they said.

Police said the department is conducting a criminal investigation in the alleged burglary and an administrative investigation into the canine deployment and subsequent shooting.


  • Tony Daysog says:

    How tragic and sad. Carrie and I send our condolences to Chief Tibetts, the Police Department and City Council on the loss of Billy. And, here’s to a speedy recovery by the arresting officer.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Doc and Kate and I send our condolences to Billy, and will honor his memory. I am starting to wonder if APD should be allowed to have K-9’s. I was on the City Council that re-instated the program after a series of budget cuts eliminated them. K-9’s are exceedingly wonderful assets when used properly. This second incident in such a short time, should be taken as a serious warning that the K-9’s are not being properly handled or trained by APD.

  • Husky Gurrrrl says:

    I’m with Ms. Thomas, but we know that the Alameda Police is a closed fraternity and the investifation will never happen.

    As I remember, Marion Holt, a long time volunteer in the community and the Alameda Humane Society was instrumental in getting K9s for the Alameda Police, raising funds and community support. She’s undoubtedly rolling in her grave.

    • Hey folks,

      Here’s the text of both press releases, including what police said about investigating the canine incident:

      From 8:44 am:

      On December 17, 2009, approximately 6:12 a.m., officers responded to a reported burglary in progress to the Coast Guard Recruiting Center located at 660 Central Avenue. A police canine was deployed during the initial investigation and mistakenly bit one of the cover officers assisting on the call. The canine did not release when commanded by the handler and was subsequently shot and killed by the officer that was bit. The officer, a two year veteran of the department, was transported to Highland Hospital for treatment.

      Immediately after the canine was shot, the suspect in the burglary came out with loss from the Recruiting Center and when confronted by officers, did not comply with initial commands and was taken into custody after a brief struggle. The suspect, Douglas Wayne Kirk, white male, 56 years old, was transported to Alameda Hospital where he was treated and released for minor lacerations that occurred during the arrest.

      The police canine, Billy, a Belgian Malinois, has been in service for more than three years, and was recently certified to his new handler in September, 2009.

      The department is conducting a criminal investigation on the burglary suspect, and is conducting an administrative investigation for the canine deployment and subsequent shooting.

      # # # # # # # # # # # #

      From 4:22 p.m.:

      Subsequent to our investigation we have determined that the suspect in this case, Douglas Wayne Kirk, after breaking into the Coast Guard Recruiting Center, was the original reporting party to the crime and had actually called 9-1-1 from that facility to report that “someone” was breaking into the building.

      After the canine was shot, coincidentally and almost simultaneously the suspect had left the building and was walking towards the officers with stolen property in his arms. When the officers confronted him and gave him repeated orders, he made statements that we had shot the wrong person and that it was him that was supposed to have been shot.

      Based on the totality of the investigation to date, we believe the suspect made a conscious decision to call the police to respond to the scene where he purposefully challenged the police to respond with deadly force. The suspect is being transported to Santa Rita Jail.

      The officer that received the bite has been released from the hospital with puncture wounds to the left bicep and has returned home.

      As part of the administrative review of this incident the Department will evaluate all the facets of the Canine Program. Until the review process is complete the canines will not be deployed for patrol operations. The program review will be coordinated by the Canine Program Commander, Lieutenant Paul Rolleri.

      # # # # # # # # # # # #

  • Aggravated in Alameda says:

    Maybe the whole APD should be reviewed. Would the female officer have shot a human suspect in the head who caused her an extreme amount of pain? I thought these officers were trained to cope with undesirable situations and extreme stress. An arm bite is not life threatening.

    We should demand details? How many times was the dog called out? Was a forced out used. Where was the un-uniformed officer standing when the dog was released to apprehend the suspect? Was the dog wearing an electric collar? Are non-K9 officers trained on how to behave around the K9 units?

    These questions need to be answered. After all it is our tax dollars and only a death of yet another K9 officer.

  • Terri says:

    I was sad to hear about the K-9. Wasn’t there a better way to handle this?? I hope this officer is investigated fully, a brutal use of force for something that was not life threatening. Poor Billy! I hope the APD learns from this.

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