INDIANAPOLIS — Allie is a small canine with a mighty task. The English Labrador is the first therapy/comfort support animal set to join Metro Police at the end of March and will be known as K-9 Officer Allie.
The dog assigned to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's wellness unit will help officers dealing with any kind of stress that could impact mental health.
“This allows us to break the ice with the dog," IMPD Officer Rob Turner said. "They can relax a bit and then more likely to about things we can help with."
"A person's stress, blood pressure, a lot of things go down just with a dog because it takes away that anxiety,” Turner said.
Turner will be the dog's handler. Before her arrival, he's leaning on his index cards and learning the commands being taught to the dog in training.
The soon to be six-month-old will call the police academy home, but she will travel as needed to meet the needs of officers as well as connect with the community at public events.
"Instead of a high five thing, one of the things is called knuckles which is basically what we all do a lot. She'll be able to do that. With kids instead of shaking paws---she'll give you knuckles."
Allie is being trained in Westfield at Ultimate Canine. The dog is set to report to IMPD after March 28th.The department says the cost of the dog was $3,800 and training $12,000 totaling $15,800. The dog will work about 8 hours per day.
The IMPD Wellness Unit which was created in 2010 connects officers with professional services and programs to help officers and their family.