Police chief proposes pit bull ban after officers are attacked - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Police chief proposes pit bull ban after officers are attacked

Pit bulls bark from a back-yard in West Memphis. It's something that could soon cease.

"We need to ban them in the city," said Police Chief Bob Paudert.

Attacks on three officers in recent months have the chief on the attack.

"I think they're a dangerous breed of dog -- they're aggressive," said Paudert.

The latest attack happened at a house on Balfour this past weekend. The chief says the pen now holding three dogs held five then. At least one got out. The officer barely had to time to think before the pit bull was on top of him.

"He had just returned from a week's school on how to deal with vicious animals," said Paudert.

The officer suffered a bite mark on his hand. Those wounds are much less severe than those sustained by another officer last year. His leg was torn open when a pit pounced.

"He's still having problems today from that injury," said Paudert.

The chief is afraid the next victim might be more vulnerable.

"When we have children in a neighborhood and these dogs get out -- it could be deadly," said Paudert.

"You really can't judge them like that," said Tiffany Porter.

She and her cousin cannot agree on a pit bull ban. Porter once owned three of them.

"Pit bulls really aren't bad -- it really depends on how the owner raise them," said Porter.

Her cousin says she's never seen a pit bull that's cute and cuddly.

"Towards people, whoever they're around, they can be pretty bad," said Bianca Davis.

Bad enough to ban according to Chief Paudert.

"And I'm sure I'll hear about this later by dog lovers," said Paudert. "But at the same time, we have to protect the citizens of this community -- particularly our children -- and we're gonna do it," he adds.

The City of West Memphis currently has a vicious dog ordinance. However, it mentions no specific breed. A ban on pit bulls would require city council approval. Council members with whom Action News 5 spoke were not ready to comment.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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