Georgia animal control keeps officers safe with Byrna
After years of inadequate protection, an animal control department in Georgia is feeling safer with the help of Byrna.
“It’s finally a way for us to be safe,” Jennifer Allen, Director of Animal Control for Jones County, Georgia.
Allen said prior to Byrna, the department didn’t have much to keep officers safe on the job. And what they did have wasn’t a great option for them.
An incident a few years ago highlighted the challenges her department faced. Allen said the department received a call that two Cane Corso dogs attacked a man and when animal control responded, the dogs attacked the officer and a sheriff’s deputy at the scene.
“My officer had to jump in the back of the truck on top of his dog box to get away from the dog," Allen said.
Allen said neither the animal control officer or sheriff’s deputy were injured in the attack, but the man had severe injuries including multiple lacerations and a broken ankle.
This incident prompted Allen to search for other tools that could be useful for the department.
“We were doing research on finding the best, non-lethal option for our department and every time I would research it, Byrna kept coming back to the top of my list and every time I would look into it as far as what we needed, it was the best option for us,” Allen explained.
Allen said that there isn’t a typical day for animal control officers and similar incidents can be sporadic.
“You never know when you’re going to walk up to a door and a dog comes around the side of the house that comes up behind you and surprises you and in that way, it’s hard to know when it’s gonna happen,” Allen said.
The Jones County Animal Control Department hasn’t run into an incident where they needed to use their Byrna launchers since having them on the field, but it has been getting a lot of attention from the community.
“Every time we go out, somebody will stop us and say, ‘is that a stun gun?’ and we’ll say, ‘no it’s a Byrna.’ Then we’ll go through the whole scenario of what they are, how they work, and it’s always been a good response from the community,” Allen explained.
Most of all, the Byrna was easy to integrate and offers protection they couldn’t get before.
“I don’t think it’s changed anything other than our peace of mind knowing that we’re protected."