Police puppy aims to comfort crime victims, officers - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Police puppy aims to comfort crime victims, officers

The 8-week-old puppy will be a police dog that people can hug and interact with. (Source: KWQC/CNN) The 8-week-old puppy will be a police dog that people can hug and interact with. (Source: KWQC/CNN)

STERLING, IL (KWQC/CNN) – An 8-week-old golden retriever is the newest member of a police department in Illinois as a result of a new program designed to connect police with the public.

Puppy Brinkley is not the typical police dog, but Officer Niki Diehl says that’s the point of the program. Unlike a traditional K-9, Brinkley will be a dog people can hug and interact with.

Once the puppy is trained, Diehl says Brinkley will help connect the Sterling Police Department to the community. She will visit schools and help crime victims deal with stressful situations.

"Our thoughts are to bring her in and distract from the negative event that just happened. She makes everybody smile, and that is her main purpose, is she makes people smile,” Diehl said.

Diehl says the police department will eventually become a permanent home for Brinkley, so she can provide support to officers as well.

"There's a lot of stress in our job. We deal with a lot of negative. For the most part of our job, we're dealing with negative situations, so more or less like a comfort dog, she'll be here for us. She'll be, you know, good for morale for us,” Diehl said.

The officers hope the new program will make a positive impact beyond their community and other departments will follow their lead.

Copyright 2017 KWQC via CNN. All rights reserved.

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