15.7 C
New York
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New Haven Police Swear In Department’s First Therapy Dog

New Haven Police are welcoming a new team member into the fold: a 3-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever named Finn. According to The Trumbull Times, the police therapy dog is the first canine to join the ranks of the department.

Police department welcomes new therapy dog

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker swore in the four-legged employee during a news conference at police headquarters on Tuesday afternoon. Finn will be working with populations dealing with anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and other disorders related to trauma. He will also be responsible for supporting employees in the high-stress milieu and boosting morale.

“A lot of police officers see really traumatic things and there aren’t a whole lot of mechanisms out there to relieve some of that stress in a healthy way,” Michael Fumiatti, a police officer on the force, said. “After looking at all the research on it, I thought, 100 percent we need one.”

Karl Jacobson, New Haven’s police chief, admitted hesitation at the idea of having a service dog on his law enforcement staff.

“I wasn’t a big fan at first,” Jacobson said. “But I love the dog now and I think it’s important that we do anything possible for the health and safety of our officers and our community.”

For Cameron, a local nonprofit working to fight drug overdose and addiction stigma, donated Officer Finn, as the pup is now known. Another Connecticut-based nonprofit, Forever In My Hearts Foundation, rescued and trained Finn. The canine companion is now recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Service dog already has a full schedule

Finn’s first act of service will be joining 100 kids at the New Haven Police Activity League summer camp. He will work with Officer Patti Lambe, a school resource officer at Wilbur Cross High School. Finn has been training with her since October 2022. The dog and his handler became roommates last week. Come fall, Finn will be present at Wilbur Cross to greet students returning for the 2023-24 school year.

Lambe was among the first to identify how Finn could benefit students. She cited an incident where a student told her about a friend’s murder.

“You have these really traumatic incidents where officers are communicating with people,” Fumiatti said. “Being able to have that tool to have people feel comfortable in that situation is absolutely priceless.”

Outside of his school duties, the police therapy dog will attend community events and will visit different neighborhoods as part of engagement efforts. According to Fumiatti, the therapy dog will be “another tool for us to bridge the gap to communicate with people.”

Finn is already building his fan base. His new Instagram account boasts almost 200 followers!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Officer Finn (@officerfinn_nhpd)

Want to learn more about how dogs help humans? Check out our guide to the differences between therapy, working, service, and emotional support dogs.

Alva Thomas
Alva Thomas
Alva Thomas expert in training and caring for pet dog breeds. Whether he spending quality time with her own furry companions or contributing to websites such as Dogsbreed.org and Animalpet.com, dedicated to our canine.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles