Former St. Paul Police Chief to lead audit into K-9 Unit

St. Paul officials announced former St. Paul Police Chief William Finney will be leading the audit on the St. Paul Police Department's K-9 unit after a police dog bit an innocent bystander during a call last week.

To complete the audit, Finney has a contract for six months and will be paid $50,000, with an additional $15,000 allocated for travel expenses and $35,000 allocated to hire external canine experts. Finney will help create a "comprehensive review" of the K-9 unit, which will include the unit's policies, training and practices. At the completion of the audit, Finney will make recommendations for how the department's police dogs should be used in regards to public safety.

“Chief Finney is a national expert who knows both our community and our police department very well," said Mayor Carter in a press release. “I look forward to his assessment, and to working with Chief Axtell to ensure our canine unit and our entire department have the training, tools and resources to serve our city well.”

“I’m looking forward to working with Chief Finney on this project and learning more about how we can more effectively and safely use our Canine Unit to enhance public safey," said Chief Axtell in a press release.

Monday, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell announced the upcoming audit and temporary restrictions on the K-9 unit. Among those changes includes prohibiting the deployment of K-9 unless there is a clear and immediate threat to the police or public.

Finney retired in 2004 after serving as police chief for 12 years. Since retiring, Finney has stayed involved with the City of St. Paul by serving on the St. Paul Board of Education and the St. Paul City Council.