Midlothian Police Chief Apologizes for Threatening to Kill Police Dog

Police Chief Harold Kaufman was recorded saying he might have to shoot and kill the dog, Biko, after the former K-9 officer quit his job

A suburban Chicago police chief has apologized for making a comment about shooting and killing the department's police dog, Biko.

Harold Kaufman, the Midlothian police chief, was recorded talking to an Oak Forest police dispatcher and saying, "Our K-9 officer just came in and quit on me, so now I'm going to be stuck with either going and shooting the dog and killing it or finding somewhere to put it."

Kaufman said that because Biko is an active police dog, he must be placed with a proper handler and cannot simply be taken in as a pet.

After the recording went public, Kaufman apologized at the Midlothian village board meeting Wednesday night. Kaufman's apology was recorded by a Midlothian resident, who posted the video to YouTube. Midlothian Clerk Michael Kohlstedt confirmed that the video shows Wednesday's meeting.

"My statement about shooting Biko was admittedly inappropriate and unprofessional," Kaufman said at the meeting. "I assure you that at no time did I actually intend to shoot Biko or harm him in any way."

Kaufman said that he would not make an excuse for his statement about Biko, who is a Belgian Malinois, according to the Orland Park Patch.

"As the head of the police depratment I recognize that I need to accept responsibility for my actions and move forward accordingly," Kaufman said.

Jon Ryczek, the K-9 officer who left his job with the department, said he did not believe Kaufman's apology was sincere.

"It was forced, he didn't even stand up, look anyone in the eye and address them," Ryczek said in an email. "... It's a shame for the residents who have to deal with that."

Biko has since been placed with a new handler in the Midlothian police department who is training with the dog, Kaufman said.

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