Animal control officers to carry guns - WNEM TV 5

Animal control officers to carry guns

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Local animal control officers are now allowed to carry a weapon and they are putting their skills to the test.

Saginaw County Animal Control officers got their first chance to practice firing the guns they will take on duty. The guns will serve as an extra protection as the officers work to save animals in need.

Friday was Officer Trish Barnes' first chance to practice. She said it has been a long time coming.

"We go into a lot of drug houses. We deal with a lot of gang members. We deal with a lot of people who don't want us taking their dog away. We have to be protected and we're not just going to go off shooting anybody, that's not what we want to do," Barnes said.

Like any other uniformed officer, the Saginaw County Animal Control wanted that extra form of protection to do their job.

Lisa Stoffel, director of Saginaw County Animal Control, said the push for guns on duty is simply an extra precaution.

"There's been multiple animal control officers that have been killed or injured in the line of duty. We just want to make sure they go home safe," Stoffel said.

Their goal is to avoid dangerous situations, but Barnes said there are close calls.

"It's a good feeling to know that we'll be able to protect ourselves from either a person or an animal if we need to.

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