Therapy Dog “Justice” to Join Providence Police

By: Kainani Stevens

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE)—-A first of it’s kind therapy is the newest recruit to the Providence Police Department. Justice, is a six-month-old Golden Doodle who is currently being trained to become a certified therapy dog.

Police in Providence currently work alongside social workers from non-profit Family Services of Rhode Island when responding to violent crimes. This partnership allows crime victims to have immediate resources for emotional support.

“Before police would leave in celebration of making a nice narcotics arrest and then that family would be left in shambles,” explained Providence police chief Hugh Clements. “Then we started working with family services and Carla for years has gone to narcotics raids and helped pick up the pieces.”

Carla Cuellar is a social worker for FSRI who has been a police liaison with Providence Police for over 14 years. She is now undertaking another difficult task in training her new partner, Justice.

“He’ll work with and comfort the victims,” said Cuellar. “Sometimes the trauma is just too much to talk about initially. When we bring justice we hope he’ll be able to get the focus away from the incident that they just witnessed.”

Justice is expected to finish training in six months and will then be sworn in as the newest member of Providence PD.