Police Comfort Dog Visits Students, Gains Experience Working With Children

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JAMESTOWN – Jamestown’s newest police K-9 is getting to know the Jamestown Public School community by visiting students around the district.

JPD Community Resource Officer Matthew Rhinehart, and comfort dog Hope, visited Love Elementary School classrooms. Pictured are teacher Laurie Hind and student Neyomiah Vaughn. (JPS Image)

Most recently the pitter patter of puppy paws echoed the halls of Love Elementary School.

Jamestown Police’s 9-week-old yellow Labrador retriever, Hope, serves as the department’s comfort dog, assisting victims of trauma or domestic violence.

Her partner, Domestic Violence Officer Emma Ward, has joined forces with Community Resource Officer Matthew Rhinehart to give Hope some experience interacting with community members.

“She is wonderful,” said Officer Ward. “She loves playing with the kids and is going through some training right now learning how to behave like a ‘good girl.’”

By bringing Hope into schools, Officer Ward wants her to be comfortable around children, and at the same time, teach students the proper way to pet and approach dogs.

Both the officers talked to classrooms about what Hope’s job entails and gave students a chance to feel some ‘puppy love.’

“We were delighted when we got a call that Hope and Officers Rhinehart and Ward could come,” said Love Elementary School Principal Connie Foster. “We know that many of our kids love animals but can’t have them at home, so they were so excited to see this beautiful little puppy, and learn what Hope will do with the police department.”

The school’s Principal says the visit was beneficial in many ways, allowing students a chance to meet the K-9 and see the city’s law enforcement in a “different light.”

Love Elementary School student, Gracelynn Davis, pets Hope, the JPD comfort dog, with help from her handler, Domestic Violence Officer Officer Emma Ward. (JPS Image)


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