September 23, 2021

Veterinarian Daily News

Veterinarian Daily News

NYPD introduces emotional support dogs for stressed cops

2 min read

You’re paw-trol – to help the cops deal with it.

The NYPD on Wednesday welcomed two emotional support dogs trained to comfort officers suffering from workplace trauma such as police shootings.

Big Apple Brass swore in two lovable yellow labs, Piper and Jenny, to start the department’s first program at One Police Plaza, police said.

The pooches – trained to jump into a desperate person’s lap and kiss on cue – are taken to police officers who “have had a critical incident,” said officer Anthony Manza, a peer advisor in the Employee Assistance Unit of the NYPD.

“People who normally don’t want to open up have a really easier time getting comfortable in one of these K-9s,” said Manza, who is also one of Piper’s handlers. “These dogs are trained to recognize stress and they will show an incredible amount of empathy for a person under coercion.”

He added, “We hope they will help reduce mental health stigma in the police department.”

(Left to right) Sergeant Anthony Manza, Detectives Ronald Thomas, Efrain Hernandez and Police Officer William Palmer pose with the yellow lab dogs Piper and Jenny.(Left to right) Sergeant Anthony Manza, Detectives Ronald Thomas, Efrain Hernandez and Police Officer William Palmer pose with the yellow lab dogs Piper and Jenny.
Stephen Yang |

Det. Ronald Thomas welcomes therapy dog ​​Piper.Detective Ronald Thomas greets therapy dog ​​Piper.
Stephen Yang |

NYPD adds two therapy dogs, Det. Piper (pictured) and Det. Jenny to their employee support program.  The dogs were trained by female prisoners at Bedford State Prison by an organization called Puppies Behind Bars.Piper, along with her other therapy dog, Jenny, was trained at Bedford Women’s Prison to help police officers cope with stress.
Stephen Yang |

Assistant Commissioner Bob Ganley shakes hands with Piper.Assistant Commissioner Bob Ganley shakes hands with Piper.
Stephen Yang |

The four-legged therapists will snuggle up to cops who can cope with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, said Officer William Palmer, whose job it also includes helping colleagues emotionally.

“We can let the dog play with the policeman. And after that, they enjoy the dog’s company and we’ll start asking questions and then move on, ”said Palmer.

The furry new NYPD officers are undergoing a two-week training program with their police officers at Bedford Women’s Prison and will also provide emotional support to community members, police said.

Det. Efrain Hernandez plays with Jenny, one of the NYPD's newest therapy dogs.Detective Efrain Hernandez plays with Jenny.
Stephen Yang |

First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker swears to Piper with handlers Sergeant Manza (left) and Detective Ronald Thomas (right).First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker swears to Piper with handlers Sergeant Manza (left) and Detective Ronald Thomas (right).
Stephen Yang |

NYPD adds two therapy dogs, Det. Piper and Det. Jenny to their employee support program.  The dogs were trained by female prisoners at Bedford State Prison by an organization called Puppies Behind Bars.Officer Anthony Manza says therapy dogs Piper and Jenny will show “an incredible amount of empathy” to troubled cops.
Stephen Yang |

Piper and Jenny are sworn in at the One Police Plaza.Piper and Jenny are sworn in at One Police Plaza.
Stephen Yang |

On Wednesday, the NYPD tweeted a photo of the dogs busily sitting between the officer’s legs and wrote, “Please say hello to K9 Jenny and K9 Piper!”

“The NYPD is now at the forefront of a burgeoning mental health and wellness movement in law enforcement,” said Janna Salisbury, Lieutenant Commanding Officer, NYPD Employee Assistance Unit.

“They will help their caregivers break down traditional mental health barriers,” she said.

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