SLCPD Chief on Defense Over Dog Shooting

Salt Lake City Chief of Police, Chris Burbank

At a hastily convened press conference, Salt Lake City’s Chief of Police, Chris Burbank, was clearly on the defense over an incident involving a neighborhood search for a missing child.

The search in Salt Lake’s Sugarhouse area also included an officer-involved shooting of a dog that many say was doing its job too.

The incident happened on June 18 and has unleashed a considerable amount of public criticism which Burbank called understandable but unfair given the job his officers are routinely summoned to do.

Amplifying the public’s reaction and protest is a video that the dog’s owner posted to Facebook, where he confronts officers who remained to offer their sympathy over the incident and to collect additional, pertinent information about the officer-involved shooting of the owner’s 2½-year-old Weimaraner named “Geist.”

Burbank confirmed Friday that his internal affairs investigators will thoroughly examine the events which led to the dog’s death, allegedly by Officer Brett Olsen, who has an exceptional record of service with the department, Burbank said.

Officer Olsen “has been under fire, and performed very well,” Burbank said, referring to the Trolley Square shooting incident in 2007. Olsen was one of three police personnel who confronted 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic at Trolley Square that year. Talovic was killed at the scene after a shooting rampage involving several members of the public in an “active shooter” scenario.

As a result of the multimedia aspects of the dog’s shooting and the immediate proliferation of public reaction using the internet, Burbank has received hate mail and criticism to an unprecedented degree. He read some of the examples which he termed “extremely disappointing,” and which threatened police personnel. In addition to those read, there were others he said which are “a lot worse.”

Since the department has commenced an internal affairs investigation as normal procedure in an officer-involved shooting, “Individuals will be held accountable for their actions, as they always are,” Burbank said. In addition to the department’s own investigation, a civilian review board will be convened to insure a “good and thorough” examination of the facts which will take about a month. “We are committed, as we have been in the past, to performing our job to meet community expectations.”

Referring to departmental efforts to avoid similar problems with the public’s perception of the police, the Chief emphasized to the public at large that “avenues exist that we can use together to resolve this problem,” acknowledging the purpose of the plaza in front of Salt Lake City’s new public safety headquarters where a protest rally is scheduled for Saturday, June 28th from 10am to 1pm.

9 Replies to “SLCPD Chief on Defense Over Dog Shooting

  1. It seems to me that Chris Burbank, rather than be contrite, is instead choosing to be an indignant prick. There is no explanation about why the officer entered the property without warrant or permission, nor is there any explanation for why a gun was needed against one of the friendliest dog breeds out there. Next time my kid starts crying at an ice cream shop when her cone melts, I just hope the cops won’t tase her.

    1. Regrettably you are correct. The view the cop department goons have is that everyone else is garbage to be trampled on, intimidated and abused any way they wish. That is why their title “peace” officers is the worst joke in 10,000 years.

  2. Chris Burbank has zero respect for the public who pay his salary and who’s protection is the ONLY purpose for his department.

    I Vote. I am not alone. I am watching carefully.

    Mayor, City Council, take note.

  3. Considering that this officer has been involved in fatal shootings before, it would seem that it would make more sense to put him on some sort of leave until this is fully investigated by an outside agency (not the Salt Lake Police Department). I realize that some people think it is only a dog, but the officer’s first reaction to shoot should be cause for alarm. I mourn the loss of the dog, life is precious, all life. The dog was just doing his job. The officer is dangerous to the public and should be fully investigated.

  4. Burbank is such a joke. He is one example of why police officers (and departments) have run-amuk in recent years. Police aren’t supposed to be paramilitaristic wanna-be’s, but that’s what they have become.

  5. The people of SLC better get rid of both these vicious, power crazed killers. If not, more people’s dogs will be massacred just so obsessed personalities like Olsen can get a power “fix,” which was the only reason they sought out this occupation to start with. Once the faces of these criminal felons are known and copies of their mugshots distributed on social media, all decent persons should jeer at them wherever they appear. This already took place with one of the cops who beat Kelly Thomas to death in Fullerton, California—he was howled out of a business establishment by outraged patrons who didn’t want a murderer around. Next time you see cops swarming from hundreds of miles to attend a cop funeral, keep in mind how they treat the public.

  6. unable to post on Olsens page, comments are deleted. NY’s Mayor and Bratton were out today giving a statement regarding a chockhold death. They did it respectfully.
    Olsen’s page continues to be defiant STRUGGLING to understand. I am guessing more of us have higher IQ’s and college degrees than the admin.
    That is the problem you continue to insult people. Adding fuel to the fire.

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