See Adorable Video of Pittsburgh's New Police Comfort Dog
Zane, a golden retriever pup who has six- to eight-weeks of training in front of him, is already a media darling.
Canine officers are nothing new within the Pittsburgh Police department, but Zane will have a different mission. As the Bureau's first-ever comfort dog, his police duties will include providing support during critical and traumatic incidents, peer support and community outreach.
In Hebrew, Zane's name means "gift and prayed for." Pittsburgh Police Sergeant Carla Kearns first proposed the idea of finding a comfort dog for the Bureau following the mass shooting last October at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Comfort dogs from all over the country came to Pittsburgh in the days following the tragedy.
"I watched people during the debriefings at that time who were anxious and didn't want to be there, but as soon as the dogs came in, you could just see their anxiety levels dropping," Kearn says.
Normally, you are not allowed to pet a canine officer but Zane will be hands on, helping to calm victims of violent crime during interviews, as well as during critical incidents and events. He will also be out in the community for meet and greets after about six-to-eight weeks of training.
Once officially sworn in, Zane will have a badge and all the rights of any other police K-9.