The Oak Park Police Department has expanded its ranks to increase community engagement and assist with officer wellness with its newest member, Pawfficer Howie.
Howie is the new Oak Park Police Community Service Dog. The 2-year-old former rescue has had more than 1,250 hours of service training including in deep pressure therapy, which involves a dog using its weight to apply pressure to the person who is petting him. The pressure increases endorphin levels and releases serotonin and dopamine, hormones that stabilize moods and feelings of well-being.
Howie assists with victim comfort services following traumatic incidents and joins sworn officers at community events to help bring awareness to the many outreach programs the police department offers.
Howie’s home is in the Police Department at Village Hall, where he has a dedicated room as well as many dog beds located throughout the station. Employees are encouraged to interact with him as he roams freely. A rotation of trained employees is responsible for his care and feeding.
As a former rescue, his breed is unknown. But officials think Howie is a Labrador mix with traces of St. John’s Water Dog, due to the whiteness around his face that gives him a distinguished air for his fairly young age.
For more information about the Oak Park Police Department, visit www.oak-park.us/police or email email@example.com.
Community Policing Sergeant Samantha Deuchler and Pawfficer Howie.