Comfort Dog Program Comes to University of Maryland PD

July 10, 2019
The University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department (UMBPD) is proud to welcome a new four-legged recruit to the team – “Officer” Lexi! The Australian Shepherd mix is UMBPD’s first resident comfort dog. The department joins only two other university police departments in the nation with a K-9 comfort dog program.

Comfort dogs are trained to provide stress relief and affection to people dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, or mental illness. Lexi has a big job, whether she’s comforting students during stressful exams, helping community members in crisis, or promoting self-care among police officers.

“Community relationships are so very important when it comes to policing,” said Pfc. Kelli Blackwell, Lexi’s trained handler. “I believe this program will benefit both the campus community and the West Baltimore community in which we serve.”

Lexi comes to UMB from a rural area in Florida. After her first few weeks in Charm City, Lexi is getting acclimated to the fast-paced city environment by working with the children participating in the Police Athletics/Activities League (PAL) Program and the CURE Scholars Program.

Lexi’s name is a nod to Lexington Street and was chosen in an online survey, beating out Gabby, Zoey, and Khloe among female name options.

 
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