WASHINGTON — US Capitol Police has been through a lot of stress this year. Three of its officers died in the line of duty and it faces congressional investigations into its actions during the January insurrection.
One charity is stepping up to help – with a support dog – for this embattled police force.
California charity CCPSD found a way to repurpose dog training to be guide dogs for the visually impaired who didn’t make the cut and give them to police stations as “support canines” providing comfort to stressed officers at the station.
“When we want people in law enforcement careers, we want you over 20 plus years, and the decisions you make and those impacts are crucial. I don't want you stressed out, I don't want you making poor decisions," said retired Riverside (Calif.) Sheriff's Captain Coby Webb.
Retired California Sheriff’s Captain Coby Webb runs a program re-training dogs from Desert Hot Springs California academy Guide Dogs of the Desert.
One example is "Lady" the Labrador who couldn’t walk a straight line when small dogs approached a blind person under her care. Now, Lady works for Ontario, California police.
"If I can help you where you go for walks where you have a dog, where that kind of kickstart in case you need any other resources. At least you have something that is there every day," Webb added.
US Capitol Police agreed to take in "Lila," a 2-year-old Labrador who joins the force in July. Webb hopes other D.C.-area police forces take in support dogs that can also be used to help victims reporting crimes.
"What we're finding when you're interviewing sexual assault victims, anything like that, it makes that interview a lot easier, because there's a dog there for comfort for a victim when they have to discuss anything traumatic that occurred."
Police department employees interesting in securing a support canine at no cost can contact coordinator Luis Bolanos at 760-799-1937 or at Getbitinv@gmail.com.
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