DOVER — In partnership with Canine Companions, the Dover Police Department has added Roy, a Labrador-golden retriever mix, as its facility dog.
Officials said the department became interested in a facility dog program after meeting Nikko from the New Castle County Police Department and learning about that agency’s success with the initiative.
Established in 1975, Canine Companions is the largest nonprofit provider of service dogs in the United States.
In addition to the dogs at the Dover and New Castle County agencies, the University of Delaware hosts the largest collegiate puppy-raising program in the Canine Companions organization, with anywhere from five to nine dogs being raised on campus at any time.
Roy — named after Roy Gold, a late volunteer with Canine Companions — was matched with Pfc. Lee Killen during a two-week training program in Long Island, New York, after being raised in New Hampshire.
Pfc. Killen and Roy will be assigned to Dover PD’s Community Policing Unit. Roy’s primary role will be to serve as an ambassador, attending outreach events, meetings and school visits, while also being used to help comfort crime victims, witnesses and anyone else who may be uncomfortable during various situations.
Upon Roy’s arrival, Chief Thomas Johnson said, “Like every other member of the Dover PD team, Roy is a highly trained professional with a love for service. He has a skill set beyond comfort and therapy and clearly different from our other working dogs.
“This makes him a perfect addition to our community policing mission. He has something to offer everyone, but perhaps his most valuable skill is getting people together in moments filled with positivity. He will make Dover even stronger than it already is. Welcome aboard, Roy!”
Roy and his handler will be attending Dover PD’s National Night Out on Tuesday at Dover High School.