Meet Jamaica, the newest, cutest member of HISD’s staff

Jamaica is HISD's first comfort dog. (HISD)

HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District has added a new member to the HISD Police Department that will help bring some paw-sitivity to the district.

According to a news release, the police department will now have a comfort dog that will be on campus to help combat stress for students who are having to transition back to in-person learning.

“We have noticed a lot of grief and anxiety cases that came with COVID-19,” said HISD social and emotional learning crisis response team member Joanna Subias.

HISD hopes Jamaica will help ease that anxiety as well as help build trust “between students, community members and police officers.”

Jamaica is a hypoallergenic Bernedoodle, and according to the district, it will take about a year for her to become certified and get used to her handler.

This is the district’s first comfort dog, but the district has two therapy dogs, Luci and Omie, that “help provide therapeutic interventions for students experiencing trauma, grief, anxiety, and mental health issues.”

While Jamaica is her current name, HISD Police Chief Pete Lopez said students will participate in a contest to rename her in the fall.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.