Local News

K-9 Officer's Death Leads to New Law

Posted July 2, 2007
Updated July 4, 2007

— Danny sacrificed his life for a fellow police officer last year, and his death has led to tougher penalties for people who kill K-9 officers.

Cpl. Chris Hicks of the Rocky Mount Police Department and Danny were chasing a suspect last July 21 when the man turned and fired at Hicks. Danny jumped in front of the bullet and died saving Hicks.

After hearing Danny's story, Sen. A.B. Swindell, D-Nash, introduced a bill to make killing a police dog a felony that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Previously, shooting a K-9 officer was equated to damaging police property since departments spend thousands of dollars and months of training on each dog.

"We're sending a clear message that, if you do this, you are going to do time when you do it," Swindell said.

The proposal was signed into law last month and takes effect in December.

Senior Officer Tim Braddy, the K-9 trainer for the Rocky Mount Police Department, said the new law is encouraging.

"Day in and day out, (police dogs) get in and out of these patrol cars. They put their lives on the line just like the police officers do to protect the citizens," Braddy said. "There is no other bond like it. That dog is there to protect you, help you and help the citizens."

Rocky Mount started its K-9 patrol unit in 1992. Danny was the first their first dog killed -- or even seriously injured -- in the line of duty, he said.

Hicks now has a new K-9 officer, named Chance, by his side. Community donations helped pay for the dog's training.


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  • ladyblue Jul 4, 2007

    Don't worry antiov-. Everyone runs into a know it all. I think sometimes some people should be preachers that post on here. I just wanted to say again if some of these people saw the tv shows that show all about those police and drug dogs, they'd have a different attitude. I for one respect them. I'm sorry you had to go through that worry. Most of the scum you deal with in crime, you don't know what virus they could give you guys.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 3, 2007

    I tried to have one established here in Raleigh last year and I was told that it would never happen by one of our elected officials. There is way too much pressure against it for the very reasons you cite. Maybe now that Queen Perlov is history the next chief will be more amenable to the idea.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Jul 3, 2007

    Professional Police have asked the state to pass legislation to force municipalities to have outside review boards and every year the League of Municipalities..the Sheriff's and the Chief's Assoc. fights it tooth and nail. The problem with internal review is politics..past grudges and Chiefs/Sheriffs in fear of losing power. The PBA and FOP fought hard for independent review of complaints etc and Steve you can thank the League for it not passing. These outside boards look at these complaint issues with an open and untainted approach.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 3, 2007

    Im sorry to imply that there was fear involved. It's more of an attitude. If everyone knows the whole process is completely open, you end up with an institutional philosophy that permeates the entire working group. I mean, look at the antithesis of that in New Orleans or Los Angeles. For decades, corruption was (and still is) the watchword and there was absolutely no oversight. Cops did what they wanted to do and a lot of it was committing illegal acts as bad as the criminals they were supposed to be apprehending. New York was the same way until they really started cracking down in the 1970s. They still have problems, but it is much better now. Police offers have more respect and morale is way up.

    The mere existence of an ombudsman keeps people honest.

  • thepeopleschamp Jul 3, 2007

    Steve, no one worked looking over their shoulder in fear of the board or anything of the sort. Once, the board actually suggested the chief re-hire an officer he fired. The pattern among the board members was that once they went to a few reviews and saw what police deal with they were not easily swayed by complaints made by people with criminal histories. To be honest I wish some of the people that served on the board would have been judges. The ones I knew were dry cleaners, worked in funeral business, a pawn shop owner, a teacher...honest everyday people, just like the cops.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 3, 2007

    To anitov:

    And I suspect that your department had such a clean track record BECAUSE the did have a citizen review board. The officers knew that they couldn't rely on the "Blue Brotherhood" to cover up anything so they had to keep clean.

  • thepeopleschamp Jul 3, 2007

    Steve, I worked for an agency that had a civilian oversight board and in the 6 years I was there they sided with the officer 100% of the time. Never once did this diverse group of private citizens ever substaniate a citizen complaint. I have no objections to a citizens review board. The ones I spoke with that served on the board we had told me they were amazed by what we actually put up with on a regular basis.

    I hope you don't consider this rampaging back. Just keeping the line of communications open. Take care.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 3, 2007

    To jeepgirl:

    He is not going to get off my back so don't bother trying. He is one of those professional police officers/firefighters/EMT guys who truly feel that no outider should ever comment on or question their jobs, tactics, abilities, motivations, or any other aspect of their responsibilities. And it is for the very reason folks like him exist that we need "civilian" oversight boards of inquiry to watch what they do and to make sure they do it correctly.

    Now watch, if history holds true, a few of them will come rampaging back in here talking some stuff about "just wait until you need us" garbage. They simply can't take any critique of anything they do.

    And, as in this instance, many of those types are comletely humorless unless it is around their own kind. Us versus them mentality in full bloom.

  • thepeopleschamp Jul 3, 2007

    SeattlePack; Officers are too protected??? Read this....A few years ago I was bit by a perp I was arresting for Hit & Run of a citizen I never met, maybe it was you or your family, it didn't matter. I had to be Hep & HIV tested for 6 months, have no relations w/ my spouse, and was told to "be careful" around our newborn. I feared every day I would pass some disease to my family. Meanwhile the perp refused being blood tested and a court order had to be drawn. He was out of custody before my 6 month semi-quarintine was over. The DA could not charge him w/ a felony because, thank goodness, he did not have Hep or HIV. Doea that sound like Police are TOO protected to you???

    And when you say "most cops..." are anything, isn't that being pre-judgemental. I have never had a legit complaint and neither have 99% of my co-workers. Can your workplace say that?

  • Steve Crisp Jul 3, 2007

    To ladder1:

    Rather than just "shutting up" as requested, I'll ask you again. Can you tell me any one thing in any story -- you can start with the Charleston fire -- where what I stated was in error? And please stop pulling the old "you can't possibly know unless you've been there" arrogance. That attitude is one of the reasons that y'all make as little as you do in Raleigh. People get really sick of being told the "you could never understand, but give me a raise" argument.

    Yeah, those of us who have taken the time over the years to understand (by talking extensively to those who do not have an "us versus them" attitude) are the ones who have been advocating for significant pay increases. But it's always the pompous twits who shoot themselves in the foot all the time when y'all want more equipment, training, pay, or other things that the city council could "never understand."