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Waterford Township police employ comfort dog to help the public and officers alike

A police department in Camden County has added a new member to the force – a 9-week-old Australian Labradoodle named Echo.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2021, 10:54 PM

Updated 1,100 days ago

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A police department in Camden County has added a new member to the force – a 9-week-old Australian Labradoodle named Echo.
Echo’s job at the Waterford Township Police Department isn’t to sniff out drugs or apprehend suspects. His job is to provide comfort.
“We wanted to think outside of the box with this,” says Lt. David D’Amico.
Echo’s first assignment was to check in on 10-year-old Tucker Bowling who was hit by a car Friday afternoon while riding his bike.
“I was trying to show my friends a trick I can do…and then I got hit,” Tucker says.
Tucker just came home from the hospital and officers stopped by with Echo to see how he was doing.
“It is just cute and adorable,” Tucker says about the dog.
“I think it breaks up the train of thought that’s going through when a traumatic incident happens,” D’Amico says. “Your head is just so locked down in that event that it breaks up that thought process…[Echo] comes up and loves you right away.”
Echo will eventually live at the police station to help provide comfort to not only children and adults who may have a traumatic event, but to the officers as well.
“Decompression is huge. Taking that moment and getting out of that element in the event and coming back just to sit in your chair and pet the dog or let it sit in your lap or sitting next to you to get your thought process changed up in that moment,” D’Amico says.
The department says Echo will also participate in community events like the Memorial Day Parade and National Night Out, and join school resources officers in the classrooms from time to time.


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