Noblesville Police Department welcomes new therapy K-9

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The Noblesville Police Department welcomed a new furry friend Dec. 13 — Sadie, a certified therapy K-9. She is the second therapy K-9 at the police department, alongside Luna.

Sadie’s primary purpose is to build connections with officers and staff, their families and retired officers, said NPD Sgt. over the Officer Wellness Program Brice Swart, her primary handler.

“A lot of the things Luna was doing in order to promote wellness within the department gave us the idea that it probably would be a good idea to have an additional therapy K-9 on hand just because of the impact Luna had made when she came in,” Swart said.

Luna primarily focuses on community response in a paramedicine program called NobleACT while Sadie primarily focuses on internal interactions with officers and staff within the Officer Wellness Program, Swart said.

The Officer Wellness Program provides services and support to officers, staff, retirees and their families. Swart said he wanted to focus on mental health, nutrition, fitness and financial education in the program.

Swart said Luna was brought in for community and crisis response, but after seeing her interact with officers and staff, Swart said that his communication with some officers was easier with a dog in the picture.

“It gives us kind of that icebreaker to go in and talk about (an officer’s) day, talk about how things are going, if they need anything, make them aware of the resources that we have available on hand here at the department,” Swart said.

He also said Sadie can be a tool the department uses when holding debriefs or after a critical incident as a calming factor and a way to help officers cope with stress.

“I just think the benefits are just outstanding when it comes to bringing someone like Sadie or Luna into a department because I didn’t expect the return that we got bringing Luna in to be as big as it was,” Swart said. “I knew there would be an impact, but the impact was far greater than what I thought it would be, just the interactions and the stress level that gets lowered (for) the officers on a daily basis.”

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