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Therapy dog joins Bellevue Police Department

Posted at 2:01 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 18:33:07-04

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV)  — The Bellevue Police Department has a new "paw-ficcer" in training.

His name is Mo, a two-month-old Goldendoodle and future certified therapy dog.

“He’s gonna have a lot of important roles here,” said his caretaker, Officer Ashley Meyers.

Meyers named him after her friend and former co-worker, Colorado State Trooper Will Moden.

“He was killed two years ago when he was struck by a vehicle investigating a crash. I called up his wife and asked if it would be okay to name little Mo after Will,” said Meyers.

Meyers said having Mo around has helped boost morale around the department.

“Honestly, we just get to take a breath and get to play with a puppy. And so we’re really focusing on our mental health here and our mental wellness,” added Meyers.

Once Mo completes training he’ll be a busy boy.

“We'll do a lot of community events. We plan on using him for interviews with victims just so they get comfortable, they can pet a dog and tell their side of the story,” said Meyers.

Mo's trainer, Russell Dillon, said Mo is well on his way to being certified — a process that normally takes two to four months.

“With Mo, it’ll be streamlined because he’s so relaxed and at peace. And because most of his day is already spent working around and being around distractions,” said Dillon.

Dillon added that Mo could help mend relationships between the community and police.

“Maybe people don’t trust the police or whatever. Having a dog there and then having that communication where they’re petting the dog, it just kind of bridges that gap,” said Dillon.

Meyers hopes therapy dogs become commonplace in police departments across the nation.

“To know that the public loves him, the officers love him... I think this is hopefully going to be a very popular trend,” said Meyers.

READ MORE: CIT training improves police response to mental health calls, but many rural counties not yet reached

CIT training improves police response to mental health calls, but many rural counties not yet reached

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