Updated statement on use of force involving police service dog
SALT LAKE CITY — We are aware of the incident involving Mr. Jeffery Ryans and his intention to file a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department for excessive use of force involving a police service dog. Although this incident occurred in April, no complaint was ever filed with the Department’s Internal Affairs. However, when senior leadership became aware of the situation yesterday, they immediately launched an Internal Affairs investigation to determine if the use of force was within policy and why the use of force was not referred to Internal Affairs at the time.
The investigation will consider the totality of the events that occurred that night. As with every complaint regarding use of force, the Salt Lake City Civilian Review Board will have the opportunity to review this investigation and make a separate finding that will be sent to the Chief of Police for consideration.
At this time, we have placed the officer on administrative leave pending the results of these investigations. SLCPD has also launched a thorough review process of the K9 apprehension program by external subject matter experts. In the meantime, SLCPD has suspended this K9 function until we review policies, procedures, training, and actual application in the field.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney is also reviewing the case. As there is pending litigation, we are unable to discuss the specifics of the case.
SLCPD is committed to upholding the highest standard of service and professionalism to the communities we serve and will ensure this case is investigated in a timely manner. At the conclusion of this investigation, we will be open and transparent in our findings and recommendations.