The recent death of Sacramento County Animal Control Officer Roy Marcum brings to the forefront job safety for animal control officers throughout the nation.
Officer Marcum, a 14-year veteran of animal control, died from a shotgun blast through the front door of the foreclosed home he had gone to in the course of doing his job. “It is an extremely unfortunate situation that Officer Marcum lost his life while conducting a routine call for service that animal control officers across the United States handle daily,” states NACA President Todd Stosuy. “I hope that this tragic situation opens the eyes of local governments across the United States to the dangers animal control officers face every day when they put on their uniform.”
The National Animal Control Association (NACA) has long recognized that Animal Control Officers encounter individuals with the same or greater frequency than other law enforcement officers. Some of these individuals engage in criminal activity, are armed, and can present an immediate threat to officer safety. Animal Control Officers deal with the same violent felons and armed criminals as other law enforcement officers. The number of assaults on Animal Control Officers has increased and officers have been shot and killed in the course of their duties.
NACA President Todd Stosuy further states, “Local governments across the United States MUST budget for ballistic vests for the brave men and women of animal control. These officers are risking their lives on a daily basis to ensure the safety of the residents and animals of their community.”
Animal Control Officers should be offered adequate personal protection gear that provides protection from the dangers and threats to their personal safety that they may encounter in their daily duties. As part of the ongoing commitment to safety and professionalism, NACA strongly recommends ballistic protective vests (commonly referred to as “bullet proof vests”) as part of the standard equipment for animal control officers.
For more information on NACA’s guidelines on Personnel Training and Safety visit: http://www.nacanet.org/guidelines.html.
Source: National Animal Control Association