RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For the first time ever, the Raleigh Police Department has a therapy dog in training.
The dog, named Teddy, will help provide emotional support to law enforcement officers and other employees of the department.
According to the police, Teddy began about three months ago.
“We are all in love with him,” said Sgt. Briget Stranahan, Teddy’s handler.
Senior police officer Chip Slade said everyone “lightens up a little bit” when Teddy comes into the office.
“Not everything’s so serious, there’s not so much pressure to have to be perfect,” Slade said. “It’s just a dog in a room that accepts you for how you are… it kind of lightens the mood of wherever I’m at. We could use a lot more of that a lot more often.”
According to a psychologist for the department, research suggests that dogs provide a comforting presence, especially after difficult and traumatic incidents.
“A therapy dog just gives you that opportunity to disconnect from whatever it is… and really just be in that moment with Teddy and just decompress,” said Lt. Jason Yardley.
Stranahan, Teddy’s handler, agreed.
“Teddy’s a great listener. He doesn’t criticize or judge — he just loves,” Stranahan said. “He never fails to change the mood in the room.”
The Raleigh Police Department Foundation provided the funding for Teddy.