Killing of Kansas police dog raises questions about penalties

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The killing of Sedgwick County police dog, Bane, has Kansas lawmakers considering increasing the fines associated with such a crime.

The Kansas House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice convened Thursday afternoon to discuss HB 2583, known as ‘Bane’s Law’. The bill would raise the current mandatory minimum fine for knowingly killing or maiming a police animal from $500 to $10,000.

Several police officers testified at the meeting, including Bane’s former handler, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s deputy, Tyler Brooks.

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Brooks says the value of police dogs to their communities cannot be understated. His written testimony includes a story of Bane disarming and apprehending a suspect.

“Bane and I were personally thanked by the man’s family for pulling the suspect away from the knife so that we did not need to use deadly force,” Brooks said. “That man lived to see another day because of Bane.”

Brooks said Bane saved multiple lives in their year together as partners. The K-9 was tragically killed in the line of duty November 16th, 2023.

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Committee chairman, Representative Stephen Owens, said Bane’s death brought to light the lack of a serious punishment for these crimes.

“This bill attempts to rectify that and ensure that we treat our police animals truly as the partners they are in fighting crime,” Owens said. “And holding people accountable for hurting and/or killing them.”

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