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Officer charged in K-9 death

 Press Release from City of Woodstock Police Department

WOODSTOCK, July 26, 2013: The Woodstock Police Department has completed its Internal Investigation into the death of K-9 Spartacus at the home of his handler, Woodstock Police Officer Chad Berry.

   On the evening of June 17, 2013, Spartacus was found unresponsive in Officer Berry’s assigned patrol vehicle at the officer’s residence in Pickens County. Immediately upon the discovery, Officer Berry notified his supervisor and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office respondedtoinvestigate the incident.  

   A necropsy requested by theWoodstock Police Department determined that Spartacus’ probable cause of death was heat stroke and that there were no other indications of injury, maltreatment, or abuse. Spartacus had also been seen for an annual physical examination and vaccines on February 21, 2013 and was found to be in good health at that time.



   Both investigations reveal that, although there was no intent to cause harm to K-9 Spartacus, Officer Berry left Spartacus in his assigned patrol vehicle upon getting home from work and attending to his children. The delay in removing Spartacus from the vehicle resulted in the canine’s death. Accordingly, thePickens County Sheriff’s Office cited Officer Berry for violating County Ordinance Section 14-22, Cruelty to Animals, subsection (f) for leaving an animal unattended in a parked vehicle without proper ventilation. Officer Berry has paid a fine of $325 as established by County Ordinance.

   As a result of the Internal Investigation, Officer Berry has been removed from the Woodstock Police Department K- 9 program, resulting in the loss of $6,000 in special duty pay annually. In addition, he is being suspended without pay for ten days for violating department policies governing the responsibilities of canine handlers. The nine-year veteran of the Woodstock Police Department is now assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Unit.

   It is noteworthy that the Woodstock Police Department is certified by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and, as such, meets or exceeds 118 model policies and operational practices. Nevertheless, the tragic death of Spartacus prompted a comprehensive review of all canine policies and procedures and resulted in the inclusion of additional safeguards to better protect the health and safety of our police canines. Moreover, although all Woodstock Police Department K-9 patrol vehicles are already equipped with heat alarm systems, these systems are being further upgraded to better ensure the well being of our dogs and handlers.



-2 #1 Sharon 2013-07-26 20:40
+10 #2 7thunders 2013-07-26 21:07
Excuse me, no jail time??? If this is a canine police dog then he should be treated as such and the officer should be doing some jail time or at least community service of some sort. Traffic duty, fines and being suspended without pay is just not stiff enough. No justice for Spartacus. How the poor fellow must of suffered waiting for this loser to come back until he finally fell over and died because of this handler's negligence. I swear to God an average citizen would be in jail or picking up trash along side the road right about now. Does the word special treatment ring a bell here?
0 #3 Nana 2013-07-31 11:15
My understanding is that K-9 are healed the same as a
human officer. If he would have killed a human would he get
the same traffic duty or what ? Spartacus was just as part
of the force as officer Barry & should be treated as that.
Officer Barry was responsible for his care & this is what happen. If we don't have laws to protect our K-9 officers we
should. We have one in place for human officers. What is the difference. I think special treatment should be for
Spartacus. Officer Barry should pay for what he done.
-1 #4 Marie 2013-08-01 09:18
WHAT! This dog died a terrible death. This man should be removed from the police department. He is incompetent. This is a desgrace to the Woodstock Police department. People count on an officer of the law to make split second decisions their lives may depend on. This guy is an IDIOT not someone I would want protecting me. IS THERE ANY KIND OF PROTEST LINED UP REQUESTING THIS GUY BE FIRED? CITY OF WOODSTOCK WAKE UP. pleople need to protest in front of the police department. Call me I'll be there!
pinto colvig
-1 #5 pinto colvig 2013-08-01 13:00
just don't forget about it. next time the City of Woodstock or Cherokee County request anything special from the voters (like a splost or property tax for public safety), remind everyone about this embarrassment, repeatedly and loudly. but most of you will have forgotten or found better things to do (like washing your ugly truck) by then.
Holly Harrison
0 #6 Holly Harrison 2013-08-01 19:40
I would love to know why this man still has his POST certification and terminated. I would also like to know why he isn't in jail since a K-9 is the same as a human officer. Why is this so hush hush? This should have been broadcasted all over. If it were any of us that killed a K-9 we would be doing time. Why is officer Barry not held to the higher standard all public safety personnel are held? Not only did he kill his partner but, he failed as a human being. Spartacus gets no justice even though he was always there for officer Barry, officer Barry was not there for Spartacus, This is an outrage

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