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Tag: deterrent

Dog parks cut crime; so let’s build some

signThose pushing for more dog parks in Boston are playing the crime card — pointing out that a park filled with people and their pets cuts down on drug deals, violence, vandalism and loitering.

It’s a card well worth playing.

In Fields Corner, one of the main arguments local residents made as part of an effort to raise $200,000 for Dorchester’s first dedicated dog park was that it would reduce crime, the Boston Globe reports. 

“This is considered a crime hot spot in Boston,’’ said Paige Davis, who lives near Ronan Park, where the dog run will be located. “People who are out walking their dogs are going to meet everyone using the park. If you want to know what’s going in the neighborhood, it’s the dog owners who know everything.’’

Residents in Charlestown have  been making a similar argument in their push to build a dog playground in Paul Revere Park. And J. Alain Ferry, founder of BostonDOG, said his group has been making the anticrime argument in its push for a dog park on Boston Common.

“Certainly one of the most appealing aspects of a dog park’’ is the antic-rime component, he said. “It’s going to help clean up the neighborhood, and you might not have a lot of people loitering or late night cruising.’’

City police, the article reports, like the idea, too.

“It’s an effective tool,’’ said Boston police Superintendent William B. Evans, who heads the department’s bureau of field services. “People with dogs who are out in the neighborhood – that’s more eyes and ears for us.’’

Boston has only three parks where dogs can play off leash — two in the South End and one, which is newly opened, in South Boston. Boston Common has some off-leash hours as well.

There’s no escaping the Dirty Two Dozen

Nobody has busted out of the Idaho Correctional Center in more than 20 years, and prison officials say the credit goes to the Dirty Two Dozen — a team of snarling guard dogs that patrol the perimeter.

Their names sound friendly enough —  Cookie, Bongo and Chi Chi among them — but the dogs, they say, are a mean lot, former death row inmates deemed too dangerous to be pets. Most would have been euthanized at the local pound if not for the prison duty that served as their reprieve.

The program began in 1986, when 24 dogs — German shepherds, Rottweilers and Belgian malinois, boxers and pit bulls — were placed in the space between the inner and outer chain-link fences that surround the prison.

The canines require no salary, don’t join unions and are more reliable during power outages than electrical security systems. They also seem to have a powerful deterrent effect.

“We’re basically giving them a second chance at a good, healthy life,” Corrections Officer Michael Amos, who heads the sentry dog program, told the Associated Press. “Those same instincts that make them a bad pet make them good sentries.”

“The average offender has no problem engaging in a fight with a correctional officer — they’re used to fighting with humans. But they don’t want to mess with a 100-pound rottweiler who has an attitude and who wants to bite the snot out of them for climbing that fence,” said James Closson, a dog trainer in Boise. He arranged the donation of some overaggressive dogs to the prison when the sentry program was new.

Over the years, the dogs have bitten handlers, badly mauling a staff member who in the late 1990s entered the kennel without first making sure all the animals were caged. But no inmates locked up at the prison have been bitten, authorities said.

Interestingly, the prison also has a program in which inmates train and care for shelter dogs, designed to give the dogs a better chance of getting adopted. But those dogs, though they may have behavioral issues, aren’t as hard core as those that guard the fence.

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