Message to the Community from the Hawthorne Chief of Police



July 3, 2013 


To All the Members of our Community 

A video-taped event captured this past weekend, depicting an arrest and subsequent shooting of the arrestee’s dog by a Police Officer, has drawn significant notoriety. This Department truly feels in the loss of the Rottweiler dog “Max” and for those impacted by such. We, as a Department, as animal owners ourselves, and the Officer directly involved himself, all relate and empathize in this. This connection is equally rooted in our own canine programs our Department maintains in bolstering public service and outreach. Our own diverse uses range from not only patrol and detection dogs, but one of the only Law Enforcement-hosted “Service” dogs in the country. 

In turn, social media responses have not only contained writer opinion but unfortunately some have been direct threats of harm to our employees. The reality is that our current investigation, and the inherent rights afforded to respective parties, prudently govern what we can and cannot publish or expound upon. Information and evidence is continuously being garnered in order to allow us to properly determine legitimate findings and conduct appropriate actions. Unfortunately, in the midst of this social media response, fallacies are being perpetuated and outright criminal threats are being made. In the public forum of various websites, Department employees have been mis-identified as the officer who shot. This has led to criminal threats of harm directed not only at City employees, but also at similarly-named public citizens who just happen to live and work in our surrounding region. This is intrinsically wrong in every way and unfairly detracts from the others who have professionally communicated with us. 

I wish to reassure all that this matter is being addressed in the most appropriate manner demanded and afforded. I ask for all to look no farther than into our own Community for the true reality of our partnerships and efforts that we apply daily in safeguarding our citizens. The Hawthorne Police Department will be accountable to its constituents and to our actions - please allow us to fulfill such. We truly sympathize with the feelings and impact suffered by all who have witnessed this incident. 

Robert Fager
Chief of Police