Utah sign maker creates No Trespassing sign he says could help animals and protect police officers

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - When a dog was shot to death by a Salt Lake City Police officer last month it caused a public outcry, now a local sign maker has come up with an idea he says could save animals’ lives and protect officers in the future.


On June 18th, 2014 a Salt Lake City police officer was searching for a missing child near 15th East and Parkway Avenue. When he walked into this backyard, he felt threatened by a three year old Weimaraner named Geist and opened fire. While many people were outraged, sign maker Chuck Roberts started working on a solution.


"I feel like there's a common sense approach to it and this is my idea,” said Roberts.


He created a no trespassing sign with a special notice to law enforcement.


It reads: "No trespassing. Dog on premises. Notice to law enforcement resident does not consent to searches. In case of emergency please recruit assistance from local animal control personnel."


"It's about officer safety, it’s about animal rights and, I think, most importantly it's about our 4th amendment rights,” said Roberts. "I felt like the resident phone number on there was a way to show the officers, like, I don't want you to go back there, I’m not allowing you to go back there but here's my number I can help you search for a missing toddler if you need to."


University of Utah law professor Shima Baradaran says the signs will do little to prevent an officer from entering your yard or home if they believe someone is in danger.


"You can try to warn police that you don't consent to a search, but if police are going to your home to try to stop some kind of violence or someone from being harmed, you really don't have a say in stopping them,” said Baradaran.


Roberts has family in law enforcement and is aware of the rights police have when they feel someone's life is in danger, but he says it's possible that maybe if there was a sign on Geist's gate the end result may have turned out differently.


"He could have called the resident and said ‘hey we need to look in your backyard’ and the resident could have said ‘I have a dog back there, it is or isn't aggressive’ proceeded from there and everybody could have stayed safe."


For more information on the signs log on to: http://www.protectmypooch.com/home.html

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