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.