Former St. Paul chief Finney to lead audit of city’s K-9 unit

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Former St. Paul police chief William Finney will lead a six-month audit of the city’s police K-9 unit following an attack on a bystander last week and a number of other high-profile dog bites in recent years.

Police Chief Todd Axtell and Mayor Melvin Carter announced the plan Friday morning and said nothing would be off limits in the probe of how police dogs are used.

“Chief Finney is a national expert who knows both our community and our police department very well,” Carter said in the written statement. “I look forward to his assessment, and to working with Chief Axtell to ensure our canine unit and our entire department have the training, tools and resources to serve our city well.”

Finney said Friday that St. Paul’s dog bites have reached a point that could cause public “unrest, especially when you consider what’s going on nationally.”

Glenn L. Slaughter, 33, was leaving for work on July 6 when he was bitten on the city’s East Side shortly before 2 a.m. by police K-9 Suttree. The dog broke free of its collar, ignored several commands from its handler, officer Mark Ross, and attacked Slaughter.

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