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Police dog fired for brutality

Updated: January 18, 2012 8:08AM

Two incidents of aggression cost him his job on the Braidwood Police Department, despite a petition signed by 403 people and public pleas asking the Braidwood City Council to reinstate him.

But the city just couldn’t stand for police brutality. Even if it did come from a dog.

The city ordered canine officer Atom into retirement, which he’ll spend at the home of his handler, Officer Doug Savarino.

City Attorney Scott Pyles said Atom cost the city $300,000 in settlements.

The dog, who joined the department in 2006, attacked a man who was already apprehended for a traffic stop and was not resisting. In a separate incident, he attacked an Illinois Conservation Police officer during a search for a suspect, Pyles said.

“We had to take some action,” Pyles said.

Mayor Bill Rulien said the department is bringing on a new dog, Neutron, but he is trained as a drug-sniffing dog, and has not been trained to attack, Rulien said.

“He will find drugs but not eat people,” Rulien said.

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