Columbus Police are training five therapy dogs and police handlers to provide comfort to victims and witnesses of crime.
"This new program is a significant step forward in serving those who are experiencing symptoms of exposure to trauma, and is an innovative way to serve both the public and police professionals alike," said Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan on Monday.
Quinlan says the new unit is part of a broader effort to improve the force’s relationship with the community.
"The therapy dog unit will be instrumental when interacting with victims and witnesses of crime, children with special needs, engage with youth in our community, and a host of other opportunities and benefits that they will be able to provide," he says.
The therapy dogs will have the added benefit of helping police officers with mental health.
"This unit will also be able to work with police officers and all of our divisions of police so they can be more resilient and better prepared to serve the public," Quinlan says.
Before joining the force, the good boys were guide dog dropouts or shelter dogs.