Rewrite this post
TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A four-legged employee is joining the Taunton Police Department.
Maggie, a 9-week-old golden retriever, arrived at the department earlier this month from Golden Opportunities for Independence (GOFI) in Walpole.
Her arrival coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to bring awareness to the importance of mental health, fight stigma, provide support, and advocate for policies that support millions affected by mental illness.
Story continues below.
Maggie’s handler will be Co-Response Clinician Katrina Lee, according to the department, and they will be attending GOFI’s Community Resource Dog training program.
Once she graduates, the department said she will help with de-escalation and provide comfort to those who may be experiencing or have experienced trauma during mental health calls for service.
“Police departments across the nation are welcoming comfort dogs into their ranks, and the feedback has truly been amazing. We hope that Maggie will help to bridge connections between our department and the public, while simultaneously being a calming presence to all,” Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh said.
Maggie is named after the department’s first female officer. In 1943, Margaret Stevens was appointed as the department’s first “policewoman” and went on to become a senior officer before retiring in 1962.
. Keep all images. Remove “and links” at the beginning