His compassion, restraint during dog attack praised by boss, state Senate
As promised, Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh honored one of her deputies last week at a ceremony during morning roll call for his professionalism and restraint when he was attacked by a dog while serving civil papers last month.
Welsh recognized Cpl. Kurt Hansen with a resolution, and she was joined by State Sen. Andy Dinniman, who honored Hansen with a citation from the Pennsylvania Senate, a Sheriff’s Office news release said, offering the following account:
On April 2, Hansen was serving a civil paper to a home in the northern part of Chester County. He knew someone was home because he saw a child in the back yard. He blew his car horn and tried to get the attention of the residents, but there was no response.
The child disappeared from view, and Hansen got out of the car. As he approached the home, a large white Great Pyrenees appeared and charged him. Before he could retreat, he was bitten on the left shoulder and taken to the ground. During a struggle, he received two additional bites. Although Hansen drew his weapon, he did not fire. He held the dog until the owners were able to control it, completed the service of his papers, and drove himself to the hospital for treatment.
Welsh, who said at the time of the attack that she planned to recognize Hansen’s bravery at a later date, said his actions had generated many letters, emails and phone calls thanking him for his judgment, restraint and compassion. “I am extremely proud of Cpl. Hansen,” Welsh said. “Because of his training, good physical conditioning, and compassion, he averted what could have been a tragedy for the dog and the family.”
She emphasized that the danger for deputies and all law enforcement is the unknown, whether they are serving civil papers, a protection-from-abuse order, or a warrant. “Cpl. Hansen is experienced, dedicated to his work, and committed to serve the citizens of Chester County with honor and distinction,” said Welsh. “This incident was a fine example of that commitment.”
Dinniman also praised Hansen for his judgment, amplifying Welsh’s comments about the potential perils of the job. “Cpl. Hansen showed considerable restraint, discretion and professionalism in the encounter, as well as an understanding that the dog was a beloved family pet and that lethal force should only be used as a last resort,” Dinniman said. “His actions should serve as a model to fellow officers and reminder of the risks law-enforcement officers take every day to keep our communities safe.”