New therapy dog added to Oshkosh Police Dept.
OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oshkosh Police Department has added a new furry friend to their family.
Magic, a two-year-old female Golden Retriever was added as a therapy dog to be able to provide emotional support to both members of our community and those that work for the department.
According to officials, Magic will be working with Behavioral Health Officer, Scott Sopata, who since October 2021, has been responding to behavioral health-related calls and highly sensitive/emotional calls for service.
Oshkosh officers say they continue to be proactive in seeking various strategies to help deescalate situations and bring them to peaceful resolutions.
Magic was trained through a program called, Journey Together. The nonprofit organization provides highly trained service dogs to people diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Magic’s training program had her working at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution. Inmates applied to be apart of the training, where Magic learned a number of different strategies to help inmates.
Local law enforcement says they felt that partnering with Journey Together and the Oshkosh Correctional Institution helped support rehabilitation programs.
“The ability to add a therapy dog to our programming to help our community members in need is another step forward that the department has taken to respond to our community members in need,” explained Chief of Police Dean Smith.
Local authorities said mental health is a priority for both its employees and community members. By incorporating a Behavioral Health Officer, a therapy dog, and a Mental Health Crisis Specialist, they are striving their best to promote this wellness in the community.