READING, MA — The Reading Police Department’s newest officer walks on four legs.
The department dubbed him Officer Cooper, choosing from a pool of more than 250 names submitted by members of the Reading Public Schools. Cooper, partnered with School Resource Officer Brian Lewis, will begin his stint as a comfort dog at Reading Memorial High School.
Lewis will contact families who submitted the name Cooper to set up a meet and greet in the near future.
Cooper is one of two comfort dogs police are getting through a partnership with Boonefield Labs in Rindge, New Hampshire. The program is part of the department’s strategy for addressing an uptick in mental health calls since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second puppy, expected to arrive in late April, will be paired with School Resource Officer Matt Vatcher.