SASKATOON — Two canine handlers with the Saskatoon Police Service have been charged with aggravated assault, and their dogs are no longer on duty.
Saskatoon police say the officers were charged after the dogs injured two different suspects during police chases in 2019 and 2020.
Police say both suspects had to be treated for dog bites, and one of them was hospitalized.
The province's police commission began investigating after complaints were filed against the officers.
Based on that investigation, Saskatoon police say they were notified on April 21 that the Crown was recommending charges.
Police say both officers, who have been with the canine unit for 13 years, are assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the court proceedings.
Both officers are scheduled to make their first appearance in court on May 18.
“I want to ensure the public that while (this) announcement may be concerning, we have a very highly trained, professional canine unit,” police Chief Troy Cooper said in a news release Thursday.
“We must respect the court process while continuing to take every opportunity to both support our members and review responses to calls for service where use-of-force is required.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2022.
The Canadian Press