LENEXA, Kan. — To help officers manage stress and improve their mental health, the Lenexa Police Department is bringing on its first comfort dog.
Lexi Blue is a four-month-old goldendoodle that will provide emotional support to police officers and the community.
Lenexa Police spokesman Danny Chavez said the dog will be used to help law enforcement officers cope with stress and trauma associated with their work.
“In this line of work, whether it’s frontline officers, dispatchers, we are exposed through our job to all different kinds of traumas. Situations that we see sometimes on a daily basis that can have an impact on our mental health,” Chavez said.
Lexi’s handler, Cpl. Megan Larson, is a school resource officer. In addition to providing support to officers at the station, Lexi will visit kids in area schools.
“She’s not like a service dog where she will know when someone’s in distress and needs to help them or get them help, but she will be around for people who are upset about something, or experienced a critical incident,” Larson said.
“Everybody loves to pet a dog, and it’s just kind of a calming thing for people when the dogs around. It kind of lightens the mood a little bit.”
The dog isn’t trained to recognize body language or respond like a service dog, but Lexi will provide support for people in the community that experience traumatic events. The dog will be used to help comfort crime victims and members of the community that have faced a traumatic event.
“Some of those situations can be pretty difficult for people to deal with and so this is one of our ways of trying to help comfort people,” Larson said.
Get to know Lexi more in the video player above.