Police Comfort Dog
The Concord Police Department K-9 Unit currently consists of one K-9 Handler, a yellow Labrador Retriever named "Liberty". The Department is currently developing a program in which we hope to add several other K-9 Officers to the team.
In July 2018, members of the Concord Police Department approached Laura Barker, founder of Hero Pups, Inc., and pitched the idea of bringing a Comfort Dog to the department. The mission of Hero Pups, Inc. is to train and place service rescue dogs with military veterans and other first responders. The Comfort Dog program for a law enforcement agency was contemplated and approved by the Hero Pups, Inc. Board of Directors.
In August 2018, Laura became aware of a Labrador rescue in Pennsylvania that was experiencing weather related problems at the facility and there was a need to move some of the dogs. Laura traveled to Pennsylvania and rescued four yellow lab puppies.
Laura and her staff profiled the pups over the next several weeks and ultimately selected Liberty to enter Comfort Dog training for the Concord Police Department. Liberty’s sisters Grace, Spirit and Independence would ultimately enter service training to be partnered with a veteran in need.
Liberty was raised and trained at Hero Pups, Inc. Headquarters by Laura Barker, her family and various volunteer trainers. Her training was rigorous and extensive. Liberty’s training was not necessarily physical in nature however it did require a great deal of concentration, exposure to endless sights, sounds, distractions and situations. She trained in a variety of settings and met thousands of people of all different ages along the way.
On October 9, 2018, Liberty was introduced to the Concord City Council at their regular meeting. Laura Barker attended the meeting and assisted in introducing the concept of Comfort Dogs in a law enforcement agency. There is exhaustive research that specially trained dogs can have a calming effect with individuals who have experienced crisis or trauma in their lives. Police officers are quite often involved with victims and others who have experienced crisis or trauma and the addition of a specially trained Comfort Dog may very well be an asset for all.