MPD: Officer punished in dog-shooting incident

 A Mobile police officer is being punished after a shooting incident left one dog dead and another wounded in their owner’s fenced backyard, according to officials.

A police department review board made the unanimous decision that Officer Kevin Kelly be entered into the Early Warning System, a program implemented by the Mobile Police Department to seek corrective action on at-risk behavior prior to any serious misconduct.

Other actions taken against the officer:

  •   He is remanded to 40 hours of remedial training to correct deficiencies.
  •   He will receive close supervision for a period of six months, followed by a compliance and competence review.

Officials said the board found deficiencies on the part of the officer in following the policy as outlined.

The dogs owner, Mike Yeager, tells FOX10 News he was told the officer should have notified him that he would be entering the yard to search for a trespassing suspect first.

On March 14, 2014, officials said Officer Kelly responded to the area of Murphy High School to assist with a complaint from the school of an on-campus intrusion by non-students.

In checking the area residential backyards in an attempt to locate the fleeing subjects, Officer Kelly encountered two dogs that became aggressive towards the officer. Authorities said with no room to retreat, the officer shot both dogs, killing one.

In a press release, Chief Barber said he recognized officers are going to come into contact with domestic animals during the scope of their duty. He wrote, “it is of significant importance that we mitigate the confrontation between officers and animals and proper protocol is followed throughout the Department to minimize these situations. The dogs were in their yards. They do what dogs do naturally – you cannot fault them for that.”

Barber’s statement goes on to say, “what we can look at that is the reasonableness of the officer’s actions under the circumstances.”

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