San Diego Police Department dog bite lawsuits raise questions of force

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The City of San Diego is paying out $275,000 after a violent police dog takedown.

The man in a viral video sued the police department for excessive force.10News found out that this isn’t the first time the use of a police dog has been questioned.

TIMELINE: San Diego K-9 bites

The San Diego Police department has relied more on the K-9 unit in the last several years. Police say stats show a sharp increase in the number of times a police dog was deployed and someone was bitten from 2013 to 2016.

There were also more dogs and handlers employed within that same three-year time period.

Police say that has changed this year. Lt. Scott Wahl says the K-9 units have been to more than 12,000 calls resulting in only 37 bites.

One of the more recent bites took place in October. In that incident, the K-9 put an end to a police chase in South Bay.

Currently, there are 33 dogs and handlers. The dogs go through an initial 10-week training program followed by four hours of maintenance training a week and 15 minutes of obedience work every day.

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