Inyo Sheriff Lutze explains decision on K-9 ‘Bady’

Statement from Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze regarding removal of K-9 ‘Bady’

On May 25, 2018 I made the difficult decision to remove K-9 “Bady” from his handler.  It appears that some individuals want to make this a political issue.  It is not.  As the Sheriff, I have a duty to keep all members of the Department and all members of the public safe, even if my decisions or acts are unpopular.

Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze

Because there is an effort to taint my decision, I want to ensure the public and members of the Department that the decision to remove K-9 “Bady” was based on my concern about potential liability and misuse issues and only after consultation with the County’s outside legal counsel.

I acknowledge that the information that came to my attention was the video that has been posted and discussed in public forums.  The video clearly shows an on-duty Deputy, in uniform, allowing K-9 “Bady” to bite a civilian in the backyard of someone’s home.  The civilian is wearing a bite-sleeve.

K-9 “Bady” is an asset to the Department to be dispatched under specific law enforcement circumstances.

The activity depicted on the video was not a Department-sanctioned training exercise and therefore creates legal exposure to the County, just as there is liability for any unauthorized demonstration of any other asset used by the Department to fulfill our law enforcement duties.

I recognize that a K-9 and his handler (and members of their family) have a special bond; however, the K-9’s primary function is to assist in law enforcement.  He belongs to the Department and he can be removed if there is concern for liability and potential misuse.  Upon my receipt of the video on May 25, I felt it was incumbent to act immediately and I did so after receipt of advice from legal counsel.

I have directed that further investigation be conducted into the activities shown in the video.   Due to personnel confidentiality requirements, I cannot share any further information at this time.

(Editor’s note: The handler for ‘Bady’ is Deputy Bradley.)

 

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20 Responses to Inyo Sheriff Lutze explains decision on K-9 ‘Bady’

  1. Buzz Killington May 28, 2018 at 5:22 pm #

    When they say it isn’t political, it is!

     
    • InyoMatters May 29, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

      Whoever posted the video on Facebook is responsible for having managed to pretty much “screw the pooch” and K9 Handler, Officer Reuben Bradly. If not for the posting, the dog would still be home and there would be no question of “politics.” Thankfully no one was hurt and hopefully Officer Bradley will “man-up”to his mistake, the department will give him a slap on the wrist, and the officer will not let it happen again. Look, people make mistakes and screw up all the time. Just because you’re a police officer doesn’t mean you not be allowed to make the occasional mistake without having your head chopped off. Making mistakes is often the best way to learn. So, let the officer “learn” from his mistake…and move on. Let the dog return “home” and get back on the job.

       
  2. Brian Briggs May 28, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

    A) County Council is a contract service not an employee of official of Inyo County. B) Departmental policy is a matter of public record withstanding certain exemptions which K-9 training does not fall under. While the personnel record may be confidential no Departmental policy has been disclosed that Deputy Bradley acknowledged through his signature or violated.

     
  3. 395Guy May 29, 2018 at 11:42 am #

    Good move Sheriff bravo. Not very bright Deputies we have at the moment. Hope they start thinking a little bit about their actions and the role of the positions they are in. All we need is an unqualified Sheriff leading these guys. Hollowell for Sheriff!

     
    • logical local May 30, 2018 at 8:09 am #

      Wait! Isn’t Hollowell the CURRENT supervisor? Things will obviously improve under his leadership.

       
      • 395Guy May 30, 2018 at 11:49 am #

        Well if we were being a “logical” knowledgeable person we would know that he is the Under Sheriff not the Sheriff. Last I checked the Sheriff is Bill Lutze and he is the leader and the one who makes the final decision not the Under Sheriff. And they will certainly improve under a candidate who has been demoted, accused of harassment and is close friends with the young deputies who have quite a reputation already and not good ones. He has zero qualifications to lead anyone let alone the reputations and egos of these deputies we have in place in Inyo. Well I guess there’s his faith which he throws in everyone’s face repeatedly. Yeah come to think of it that qualifies him as a Sheriff alone……… I’m not playing with our public safety I’ll be voting Hollowell

         
      • InyoMatters May 30, 2018 at 12:08 pm #

        No, Hollowell is not Bradley’s immediate supervisor, which you likely already know. His immediate supervisor is a sergeant, not the Undersheriff. You might consider changing your online moniker from “logical local” to “convenient idiot.”

         
        • X May 30, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

          Hollowell is not his supervisor, however Connolly is?? Guarantee with no election or any other drama at ICSO this would be a minor verbal reprimand, if that at all! Major over reaction by the SO as a retaliatory gesture to an openly supportive Nicholson for sheriff employee!! Loss to both the community and department who utilize Bady day in and day out. #getyourStogetherinyoSO!

           
  4. Retired LEO K9 Supervisor May 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    This is clearly a case of over reaction by the Sheriff in taking away the dog from the Deputy. The Deputy did show poor judgement in using someone who was not a trained K9 and certified Agitator to do sleeve work with his dog. Having said that, real Law Enforcement Leaders understand that everything is not black and white. The use of Progressive Discipline is what good leaders use in these types of mistakes. For a first offence like this, a letter of instruction written by the Deputy’s supervisor, would have been written explaining why the Deputy’s actions were wrong and how it exposed the Department to possible liability. The Deputy would sign the letter saying he understood. The letter would stay in his file for a year and if after a year, there were no further issues, the letter would be removed from his file. This may have been done. Additional training for the Deputy may also may be in order.

    Taking the K9 away from the Deputy indicates a style on management where the only tool they know is a hammer, and every problem becomes a nail.

    People are not disposable.

     
    • Voice of Reason June 1, 2018 at 11:57 am #

      If you are in fact a retired K9 Supervisor then obviously you would know that all IAs are completely confidential and cannot be brought up to justify this situation that has been made far too public as it is. You are commenting based on the assumption that this is the one and only time that the Handler has had a disciplinary issue, for all we know the progressive disciplinary actions, that you mentioned above, have taken place and this was the final step. Obviously the SO is not going to open themselves up to a law suit either by taking unwarranted disciplinary action or disclosing the confidential information that lead up to this decision, leaving our only source of information about the “facts” of this situation the handler’s wife, and if that isn’t a completely bias new source I don’t know what is. The bottom line is we do not know the whole story and frankly we probably never will. In the mean time thousands of people are finding themselves thrown into a tizzy over a small portion of facts, a healthy dose of small town drama, and a colossal grey area in this story that one side is not at liberty to disclose and the other wont disclose in the interest of saving face.

       
      • Retired LEO K9 Supervisor June 1, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

        Actually there is additional information available. The department has failed to send the K9 Deputy and his dog to the yearly POST Required certification course that was due in October 2017. For proof, simply file a Public Records Act request with the Sheriff’s Department for all the K9 training records regarding this particular K9.

        Actual facts do matter.

         
        • InyoMatters June 2, 2018 at 11:25 pm #

          “RLEOK9 Supvr”– What does the particular “fact” about the missed training have to do with this topic of the police dog being taken away from its handler? It training may have been missed for any number of perfectly good reasons…and perhaps, more to the point, it is unlikely to be relevant to the current topic.

          Obviously, there is much the public does not know about this issue and the handler’s wife has certainly muddied the waters with her Facebook comments and “Bring Back Bady” campaign which has largely misrepresented the issue. This is a trained police dog; it is not a personal or family pet. The dog is the property–an asset– of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. It cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. The dog is not owned by its handler or his family, and they have no legal standing at all in determining where the dog is kept, where it is assigned, or to whom.

          As “VOR” stated, there is a good likelihood that we may never know much about what is involved in this case due to the strict confidentially restrictions that surround any disciplinary action taken against a police officer. It may be that this situation was “the final straw” for the department in a possibly long string of disciplinary problems with this officer.

           
          • Suze1942 June 4, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

            Guess I’d give more weight to the sheriff’s comment that strict training protocols must be followed IF the department was diligent about insisting that the time, money was given, no insisted for 2017 Required certification course. Seems pretty selective about regs.
            And this is your only K9 team? And you know if this officer wants he can request his personnel file be made public knowledge.
            How much money will you waste taxpayers to get a new team going IF your current canine will team with new partner. Sometimes it isn’t smooth. Or another $10000. For new K9

             
  5. Rick O'Brien May 29, 2018 at 11:18 pm #

    It is a great loss for the county to go WITHOUT the dog and his handler,together as a team. What happens when you have a lost child, or a suspect runs into a dark warehouse or a field with chest-high brush ? What happens if there is a need for a dope related search incident clear out in Darwin ?
    Call the Mono County canine deputy who’s on another call in Coleville , a hundred miles away ? Inyo County NEEDS that dog to be available 24/7 . Bring ’em back, Sheriff. Don’t let your last days in office be a stain on your exemplary career because there was a situation where a canine could have made a world of difference, but didn’t because he was on suspension.

     
  6. Charles O. Jone May 30, 2018 at 6:57 am #

    K9’s in law enforcement is a very effective tool when used properly. If there was a misuse of the tool then deal with that in the well established disciplinary process. Just getting rid of a useful department tool doesn’t make sense. If liability is the main concern, what about the liability of getting a citizen or deputy injured or killed because the K9 was no longer available to assist? I don’t know if this decision was politically motivated or not, but it does seem short sighted.

     
  7. James Smith May 30, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    The video posted after the K9 removed. No one can connect the two events, but we all making up conclusions. Maybe more to the story? How long did Inyo go without a canine, previously?

     
  8. Jeff Briggs May 30, 2018 at 11:29 am #

    I wore the bite suit or sleeve many times in the past with NO training or certification, had a blast. And this was with Inyo county. Could this just be poor timing, or maybe the sheriff also wants Josh to win the election.

     
  9. James Smith May 30, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

    The choice is clear. Vote for the deputy with ONLY 10 years experience, who has been disciplined, lost stripes, has zero leadership background, . He wins, starts promoting his buddies. Vote for the Undersheriff who has 30 years experience, and years of leadership behind him, and is backed by not only our current sheriff, but many other California county sheriff’s.
    This hoopla surrounding the K9 was instigated by a deputy’s wife on social media, also backing the candidate with ONLY 10 years experience.The timing of the removal of the K9 , near the election means nothing. Choose wisely, voters. Do you really want a 10 year deputy leading our top law enforcement agency?? OR, choose our Undersheriff, a man with zero discipline write-ups, and a 30 year career. My choice was Jeff Hollowell.

     
  10. stuffhappens760 June 5, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    The deputy needs to take responsibility for his actions. The reality is, he is the one who put this dog in the predicament of being removed from his care due to his lack of good judgement. Now his wife is on social media posting documentation, setting up interviews with t.v. stations and accosting everyone who does not agree with the decision that the county has made. This dog is not a family pet. He is an asset of the Sheriff’s Department and should be used accordingly. Would the conversations be different if the deputy was demonstrating the use of his department issued firearm or taser in someone’s backyard and on an “average joe?” This is just out of hand!

    They say the dog was removed due to politics, however you see the deputy on the Reno news sporting attire that supports his close buddy for sheriff. Politically driven? I would say yes, the deputy and his wife are displaying politically driven behaviors, in hopes of being promoted should his buddy win the election. People are talking about the “good ol’ boy system.” Does one not think if a new sheriff is in town that he too will continue the “good ol’ boy system” but now with just a new set of less inexperienced players?

    I can honestly say that I was on the fence with who I was going to vote for, however after reading the deputy’s wife’s posts and reading Mr. Nicholson posts in regards to the situation they pushed me to voting for Mr. Hollowell.

     
  11. Jw June 6, 2018 at 9:09 am #

    Lutz will get his karma…

     

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