Tuesday , July 11, 2017 - 7:48 PM
“Ours is a criminal investigation. We’re investigating the case and reviewing the case for any potential criminal violations,” Cache County Attorney James Swink said.
Endy, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, died July 3, Swink said, in what Sheriff Chad Jensen termed an “unfortunate incident.” Jensen last week said he had asked the Northern Utah Critical Incident Task Force to look into the matter and Swink said Tuesday that his office is handling the inquiry for the body.
An investigator in Swink’s office is leading the matter, working “virtually full-time” on the case, gathering information and interviewing potential witnesses. The Logan Police Department handled some of the initial investigative efforts and the Cache County investigator is currently awaiting results of an examination of Endy’s body that Utah State University experts are completing.
“I will say the facts in the case are not overly complex,” Swink said. “We’re hoping to be able to make a decision in the next couple weeks, which is pretty fast for criminal investigations.”
Given the ongoing nature of the inquiry, Swink wouldn’t discuss details surrounding the matter — how Endy may have died, whether the animal was on duty, who was providing care at the time. Having not read any of the reports on the matter as the investigator continues his efforts, he said he’s not even up to date on many details.
Many expressed sorrow in the Cache County Sheriff’s Office Facebook feed on learning of Endy’s death and Swink acknowledged the reaction, asking for patience from the public as the investigation proceeds.
“These service dogs mean a lot to us in law enforcement. They mean a lot to the community,” he said. “It’s a real loss to our law enforcement community and beyond, to our larger community.”
Endy served the Logan Police Department from April 5, 2010, until last year, when the Cache County Sheriff’s Office acquired the animal. Serving Logan police, Endy handled 151 drug sniffs, 45 suspect searches, 11 call outs and 14 demonstrations, according to police records.
Aside from the inquiry by the Cache County Attorney’s Office, triggered by Jensen’s request for the intervention of the Northern Utah Critical Incident Task Force, the sheriff said his office is conducting an internal review of his office’s “policy and procedures.”
The task force represents the sheriff’s offices and police departments of Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties and its services may be sought to enable the cooperating agencies to assist each other in certain investigations. Swink said he didn’t think the help of other task force agencies, outside the Cache County Attorney’s Office, would be needed to complete the investigation he’s helping manage.
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