The Central Washington University Police Department has a new best friend. And once the rest of campus gets to know him, they will, too.
During a brief ceremony on May 30, Chief Jason Berthon-Koch swore in Archie, a Facility Dog and the newest member of the police department. In a letter to colleagues, the chief said Archie’s primary mission will be to provide support, comfort, and stress relief to CWU students, faculty, and staff — and “lend a helping paw when it matters the most.”
“With his gentle demeanor and unwavering loyalty, Archie is dedicated to bringing comfort and solace to those experiencing stressful events or simply seeking support in their day-to-day lives,” Berthon-Koch said. “His wagging tail and warm presence will serve as a beacon of hope and companionship, fostering a sense of well-being and emotional resiliency.”
Berthon-Koch talked about the many benefits Facility Dogs like Archie bring to communities during uncertain and stressful times. With their unconditional love and non-judgmental nature, service dogs have been shown to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve people’s mental well-being.
“By having Archie as part of our team, we aim to create an inclusive and caring community where individuals feel safe, supported, and understood,” the chief said, noting that the department received Archie as a donation from the national nonprofit organization Dogs for Better Lives.
Before joining the CWU Police Department, Archie completed extensive training to meet the highest standards of professionalism. He was carefully selected for his ability to adapt to various situations, and Berthon-Koch expects his presence on campus to benefit everyone.
“Whether it’s providing comfort during difficult moments, offering a listening ear without judgment, or simply being a source of joy and playfulness, Archie will be there with his heart full of love and compassion,” he said.
Berthon-Koch added that he and the team “look forward to collaborating with the campus to create a more caring and supportive environment for all.”
Facility Dogs are trained to do specific, skilled tasks and placed with working professionals or volunteers to help support them in their work with vulnerable populations and persons with disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, or developmental). Learn more about Facility Dogs and apply to receive a dog for your workplace: dogsforbetterlives.org/facility-dogs