KHON2 has obtained 911 calls made shortly after a dog was shot and killed at Honolulu International Airport Tuesday night.
An officer working for Securitas shot and killed the dog after it got loose while the family was loading luggage into their car.
Sheriff: Hi, this is Deputy Miyamoto, Airport Sheriffs Division. We need a unit down at Hawaiian Airlines drive-in check-in. One of the Securitas LEOs discharged his firearm on an animal.
Dispatch: And nobody else was hurt, yeah?
Sheriff: No, just the dog or something.
In addition to the Hawaiian Humane Society, we’re learning that the state attorney general is now investigating the incident.
With the investigations, there are more questions about the training for these armed officers, which some people say could have prevented the tragedy.
HGEA, the union that represents deputy sheriffs, says the shooting is just another example of why it’s a bad idea to have a private company like Securitas provide armed law enforcement officers known as airport police.
HGEA filed a lawsuit last year against the state for allowing this to happen, which is still pending.
“I think there are a number of questions about training, equipment. There are some concerns about the caliber of people that are hired, and we likewise would be concerned about proper background checks,” said HGEA executive director Randy Perreira.
Securitas would not comment, but has pointed out that its contract with the state calls for officers with at least two years of law enforcement experience, as well as training with firearms.
Perreira says sheriffs would have had more options to deal with Tuesday’s incident.
“I do know that our officers are trained and equipped with Tasers and pepper spray,” he said. “My understanding is the vendor only provides handguns. Certainly, there may have been other options available to a sheriff, had a sheriff been called on scene, rather than the use of a handgun.”
As it looks into the animal cruelty case, the humane society says training could also help prevent these types of tragedies. It says dogs are getting shot unnecessarily by law enforcement officers all across the country.
The main problem is that these officers aren’t getting any training on dealing with animals.
“It is a trend that’s alarming, and it really involves training officers and people that may come upon animals that are unknown to them,” said Harold Han of the Hawaiian Humane Society.
A group known as the Animal Legal Defense Fund estimates that nationwide, more than 10,000 dogs are shot and killed by law enforcement each year.