Phoenix police: Officer not allowed to bring service dog to work

A Phoenix Police officer shot in the line of duty almost two years ago says the department will not allow him to bring his service dog to work.

- A Phoenix Police officer shot in the line of duty almost two years ago says the department will not allow him to bring his service dog to work.

Officer Scott Sefranka was shot on New Year's Eve in 2013 by an armed robbery suspect and while he may have recovered from his physical injuries, he now suffers from PTSD.

In a blog post, Officer Sefranka's wife, Christie, says the police department will not let him take his service dog, "Bigby," to work. Officer Sefranka has been working a desk job since he returned to the force after the shooting.

Christie says doctors and psychologists, who specialize in PTSD, recommended "Bigby" to Scott. They say "Bigby" is a psychiatric service dog, and not a therapy or emotional support animal. Christie claims that an HR representative that her husband spoke to believes the dog is an emotional support animal.

This controversy comes about a year-and-a-half after Craig Tiger, a former police officer suffering from PTSD, took his own life. Earlier this summer, the Phoenix Police Department's Task Force released recommended guidelines for ways the department could help officers deal with PTSD.

Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner issued the following statement; "The Phoenix Police Department is committed to the well-being of its employees. The department has been working closely with city personnel and legal to find an appropriate resolution to the situation. I plan to meet with Detective Sefranka in the near future in an attempt to address his concerns."

UPDATE:

Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner met with Officer Sefranka on Wednesday and has allowed him to bring "Bigby" to work. Officer Sefranka is still not permitted to identify himself as a police officer while on duty in public with the service dog.


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