The New Haven Police Department (NHPD) has a new addition to the force, and it’s somepuppy furry with a wagging tail!
K-9 Officer Finn is a highly-trained three-year-old Labrador Retriever and is the department’s first ever comfort dog.
According to New Haven Register, Finn, was sworn in by New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker during a news conference at the police headquarters on Tuesday, June 20.
In a statement on Facebook, NHPD said Finn “is a valuable addition to the department and will help us support our officers’ mental health and wellbeing.”
The K-9 Officer was rescued and trained by Forever In My Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of disabled veterans.
And he was donated by For Cameron, another nonprofit organization whose aim is to combat the stigma of drug overdose and addiction, to the department.
Furthermore, Finn underwent 1500 hours of training and is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
His handler and a School Resource Officer at Wilbur Cross High School, Officer Patricia Lambe, also trained for months with Forever In My Heart Foundation.
“I fell in love with him. And now it’s like, he’s my baby,” Officer Lambe told FOX 61.
According to officials, Finn will not only provide comfort to police officers but also to the surrounding community, New Haven Register reports.
Finn will be tasked to boost officer moral and support officers working in high-stress environment. He will also assist community members at Wilbur Cross who suffer from trauma-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.
Lambe said, “With the vest on, he knows he’ll have several commands that he knows how to do. And they’re to provide comfort. So, he’ll read you a story and lay on your lap. The peekaboo where he’ll go between your legs and just look up at you and he’ll sit.”
NHPD’s Chief Karl Jacobson told FOX 61, “We’ve seen the dogs throughout the state make a huge impact on the health and safety of our officers and the health and safety of our communities. And we’re really excited.”
According to FOX 61’s report, K-9 Officer Finn will spend the summer at camp with the Police Activity League in New Haven. And then he and handler Lambe will go to work at Wilbur Cross in the fall.
You can follow K-9 Officer Finn as he faithfully fulfill his duties on his official Instagram account.