Welcome Holly! 🐾 New Comfort Dog Joins Portsmouth Police Department

The Portsmouth Police Department is thrilled to introduce its latest addition, Holly, the department’s first-ever comfort dog. This four-legged team member has successfully completed her training and is eager to embark on her role within the community.

After a solemn swearing-in ceremony, Holly will be partnered with Officer Westley Lemar, the department’s dedicated school resource officer for middle and elementary schools. Officer Lemar is enthusiastic about introducing Holly to students and staff, emphasizing the positive impact that comfort dogs can have on fostering relationships between the police force and the school community.

Holly, a 16-month-old lab, comes to the Portsmouth Police Department as a generous gift from the New York-based organization “Puppies Behind Bars.” This remarkable organization focuses on training incarcerated individuals to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, contributing to both rehabilitation and community service.

Officer Lemar, who spent the last two weeks training with Holly in New York, describes her as extremely friendly and well-trained to provide comfort and companionship in various situations. Beyond her duties in schools, Holly will be available for special situations outside educational settings, aiming to establish connections with residents, reduce anxiety, and enhance communication with victims and witnesses.

The comfort dog program will be fully funded through community donations, underlining the department’s commitment to building strong ties with the local residents. This initiative reflects a broader effort to enhance community policing and promote positive interactions between law enforcement and the public.

The Portsmouth Police Department expresses its gratitude to “Puppies Behind Bars” for the invaluable gift of Holly and looks forward to the positive impact she will undoubtedly bring to the community. As Holly takes her place in the department, residents can anticipate a friendlier and more supportive presence during various situations, thanks to this innovative approach to community policing.




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