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Penticton Community Safety Officer bit by dog while doing wellness check

The man with the dog subsequently threw a bottle at the CSO’s truck and ran away
Four new Penticton Community Safety Officers were hired and are visible in the downtown with a focus on social issues. One of them was bit by a dog while doing a wellness check Oct. 25. (City of Penticton file photo)

A Community Safety Officer was bit by a dog while doing a wellness check on a man experiencing homelessness in Penticton.

According to Penticton bylaw services manager Tina Mercier, the officer engaged with a homeless individual in the downtown area to check on their welfare Tuesday night.

The officer didn’t see that a dog was under a blanket and as officers got closer to speak with the man, the dog came towards the officer and nipped the officer’s leg, causing minor injuries and some bruising and swelling. The man with the dog then threw a glass bottle at the CSOs truck and ran away with his dog, said Mercier.

Bylaw and RCMP searched for the man Tuesday night. He was located earlier Wednesday morning by Community Safety Officers, with RCMP assisting in his arrest.

The dog, apparently a black larger breed dog, has been temporarily seized.

“The safety of our bylaw and CSO team is paramount to the work we do every day for our community,” said Mercier.

In January, the city hired six new bylaw officers and four news CSOS and increased the hours of patrol to seven days a week 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“The focus for Community Safety Officers (CSOs) will be on social issues, like panhandling, camping, safety and cleanliness,” said Mercier at the time.

Since then bylaw officers have been very busy handling the increase in people ‘living rough’ and setting up encampments around the city.

READ MORE: New Penticton Community Safety Officers will focus on social issues

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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