The Rhode Island police department has a new employee on the force: a Labrador Retriever named Blue. The 10-week-old black Lab puppy is not only winning over officers but social media followers as well.
Black Lab puppy reports for duty
According to USA TODAY, Blue is the inaugural comfort and therapy dog officer at the Tiverton Police Department. His first day on duty was Sept. 7 – and his schedule has been packed ever since.
Blue began his tenure by greeting police officers and firefighters. He stopped by town hall. Then, he went to the veterinarian’s office for a checkup. He visited students at Tiverton High School. Additionally, he attended a concert, checked out library books, and even got his first taste of a pup cup at Starbucks!
And, of course, all of this was documented for social media. Blue now has his very own Facebook page. Apparently, this pup has a sense of humor, too!
“I took a trip to the Tiverton Library Services RI, today and hung out with all the librarians,” Blue “wrote” in one post. “They didn’t exactly like me biting on the books but I told them that’s just how I read. I got my library card so hopefully I can catch the next storytime.”
While Blue is the first canine member of the police department, he isn’t the only therapy pet on the force. Scrappy the cat also serves the officers at the department.
Police puppy helps officers connect with the community
Officer Shaun Wilson was the driving force behind the pup’s appointment.
“I’ve always wanted to be a K9 officer,” Wilson told USA TODAY. “When I saw the need and the rewarding outcome of a comfort dog I started looking into it more.”
The department found Blue at Boonefield Labradors, which breeds and trains Labs to be comfort and therapy dogs.
“The program helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community,” Wilson said. “It is important to be able to help build upon that relationship.”
On his days off, Blue keeps busy. So far, he’s gone swimming and apple picking!
Whether on or off duty, Blue wins over everyone he meets. As Wilson said, “He has brought a new spark to our little town.”