(CBS) — West suburban police are learning how to handle coyotes peacefully, though not quietly.
Human Society coyote specialist Lyndsey White Dasher told police one strategy is to use an air horn and another is to holler “go away coyote” while flapping your arms.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel organized the coyote training session for his officers and 20 other departments.
“We have had over 380 resident complaints in 2013 and we have had actually a couple of encounters and our officers need more training on how to respond to the coyotes,” said Weitzel.
Weitzel says coyotes haven’t ever hurt any people Riverside but did kill one dog some years ago. He says he still gets two calls a week from residents who’ve spotted coyotes which are expanding their urban and suburban numbers as they learn to live alongside people.
Riverside also hosted a town hall for residents Tuesday evening to discuss coyotes.
Laurene McHatton attended the meeting and her 13-year-old dogs Alexa and Murphy could become coyote prey.
“They could take them by the neck and then what recourse do I have?” said McHatton.
Lynsey White Dasher says not to leave pet food outside and to keep pets on a leash to avoid attracting coyotes.