Police in Taunton, Massachusetts, have added the cutest new four-legged employee to their department — a comfort dog named Maggie.
The 9-week-old Golden Retriever came to the department in early May from Golden Opportunities for Independence in Walpole, police said, coinciding perfectly with Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to a press release announcing her arrival, Maggie will be partnered with Taunton Police Co-Response Clinician Katrina Lee. Maggie and Lee will attend a community resource dog training program, and once Maggie graduates, the adorable pup will help with de-escalation and provide comfort to those who may be experiencing or have experienced trauma during mental health calls for service.
Comfort dogs have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and feelings of loneliness, police say, and they can also serve as a calming presence in times of crisis or trauma.
“We are excited to welcome Maggie to our department where she will work alongside our mental health co-response clinician to provide comfort and support to those in crisis,” Chief Edward Walsh said in a statement. “Police departments across the nation are welcoming comfort dogs into their ranks, and the feedback has truly been amazing. We hope that Maggie will help to bridge connections between our department and the public, while simultaneously being a calming presence to all.”
Taunton police voted on several names before deciding on Maggie — which was chosen in honor of the department’s first female officer, Margaret Stevens.
Anyone who wants to keep up with Maggie’s adventures can do so by following her accounts on Instagram and Facebook, where police say they will post adorable photos, information about community events, and resources for mental health, addiction, domestic violence, social services and more.