Thursday, October 6, 2022

Recent recruit

Northville Township welcomes new police therapy dog

Northville Community Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski
gets acquaintedwith his new partner, a Goldendoodle puppy.
After training, the puppy will join the
police department as a therapy dog.
The name of the newest 'officer' at the Northville Township Police Department is expected to be announced this week.

The force is expanding with the addition of 16-week-old male Goldendoodle puppy, as yet unnamed, who will undergo training to join the department as a police support dog. Police officers sought community input through social media to help find a new name for the recruit. Suggestions were being accepted until last Friday, but no decision had been announced at press time. 

The new member of the department is among support dogs joining police departments across the country. Research has proven support dogs are effective in providing comfort and aid for people during times of crisis, particularly violent or traumatic events. The dogs also reduce anxiety and increase communication between witnesses and investigators, whether they are adults or children, according to national studies. 

Northville Community Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski researched therapy and support dogs for about a year after he witnessed firsthand how such a dog can change the atmosphere in a room.  He felt that Northville Township residents would benefit from having a support dog and, after talking with other law enforcement agencies, learned the temperament of a Goldendoodle, a Golden Retriever and Poodle mix, would be a good fit for the township. Domzalski will be the Goldendoodle's handler and the puppy will accompany him to work and head home with him after hours. 

Police officials agreed the dogs are a welcome presence at community events and schools as they foster dialog and communication between officers and residents. 

The City of Wayne Police Department and residents are mourning the loss of their popular and beloved therapy dog, Zeke, who died this week of cancer. Zeke was a popular and valuable asset to the community, officials said, and will not be the last therapy dog in the Wayne department.  “Zeke has already inspired therapy dog programs at multiple other police departments. We miss him terribly,” noted a posting from the Wayne police.  

Domzalski agreed that the role of a therapy dog has become important in community police departments.

 “After speaking with various experts, other police departments and then meeting the Goldendoodle's parents, we knew we found a special buddy to help our great community,” he said.  Domzalski picked up his new partner  on Tuesday.

“He will be a visible and highly popular member of our department and we couldn't be more excited to include him in our community policing programming,” said Police Chief Scott Hilden.

The Goldendoodle begins support dog training in November. In the meantime, Domzalski is assisting the puppy with basic obedience commands. 

“Northville Township Police Department is lucky to have him. Now we need to our residents to name him quickly. I can't wait to hear their ideas, Domzakski said.”

The Goldendoodle's chosen name will be announced this week.