Motivation and support comes in many forms, including from our four-legged partners. The Dover Police Department welcomed its newest staff member, Canine Companions
Facility Dog “Roy III” in July of 2021. Police Facility Dog Roy will assist the department during their work with victims, witnesses, and community members exposed to traumatic events.
Since 1975, Canine Companions has bred, raised, and expertly trained service dogs in over 40 commands designed to assist and motivate clients with special needs. Roy, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix, has been selected to work for the Dover Police Department because of his unobtrusive and calm demeanor necessary in a criminal justice setting.
The Dover Police Department will utilize Police Facility Dog Roy to:
- serve as an ambassador for the Dover Police Department
- aid in the investigation of crimes,
- provide comfort to victims and witnesses during interviews and court proceedings,
- help victims process grief and loss,
- lower tension and stress of community members and staff after traumatic events,
- work with children to build relationships,
- conduct senior citizen visits and welfare checks
- engage with the public during community events,
- boost morale and ease stress of departmental employees
- and so much more!
Canine Companions has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by training and placing more than 6,700 service dogs with program graduates, including more than 230 dogs with military veterans and more than 2,000 dogs with children. The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companions facility dog like Roy, and all follow up support, is $50,000, however each facility dog is provided at no cost. Canine Companions depends on the support of tens of thousands of donors and volunteers to match facilities and people in need with a service dog like Roy entirely free of charge.
The Dover Police Department became interested in a facility dog program after meeting Nikko with the New Castle County (Delaware) Police Department and learning about the success their agency has had with the program. Established in 1975, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of service dogs in the United States. Their presence in Delaware isn’t limited to the New Castle County and Dover Police Departments. The University of Delaware hosts the largest collegiate puppy raising program in the Canine Companion organization, with anywhere from 5-9 dogs being raised on campus at any time.
Roy, who is named after Roy Gold, a late volunteer with Canine Companions, was matched with PFC Lee Killen during a two-week training program in Long Island, New York after being raised in New Hampshire. Officer Killen and Roy will be assigned to the Dover Police Department’s Community Policing Unit. In the short time that Roy has been with the Dover Police Department, he has already become the most popular officer in the building.
Chief Thomas Johnson made the following statement regarding Roy’s arrival: “Like every other member of the Dover PD team, Roy is a highly trained professional with a love for service. He has a skill set beyond comfort and therapy, and clearly different from our other working dogs. This makes him a perfect addition to our Community Policing mission. He has something to offer everyone, but perhaps his most valuable skill is getting people together in moments filled with positivity. He will make Dover even stronger than it already is. Welcome aboard Roy!”
Roy loves to visit our friends in the Dover community. If you would like to request Roy to attend an event or make an appearance, please read and complete the Public Appearance Request form below. Please understand that Roy’s primary duty is to provide comfort to those in need. Roy may be forced to decline appearances due to other duties taking priority, scheduling conflicts, and the health and well-being of Roy. Please note that even approved appearances MAY be subject to last minute cancellation if Roy is needed to provide his services to a victim or witness.
ABOUT CANINE COMPANIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE
Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained service dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six regional training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. For more information, visit www.canine.org