ASU Police gets its first trauma dog

TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- Officials with Arizona State University announced that its police department now has a trauma dog.

The three-month-old Labrador retriever, named Dutch, is the department's first trauma dog, and in another three months, Dutch is scheduled to get several months of special therapy training before he will be ready for service, according to ASU Police officials.

"He's very loveable," said Sgt. Jason Latella with ASU Police. "He's very friendly. He's a ham, and he loves being out there and just talking to people."

Dutch, who came from a Buckeye breeder, was named after James "Dutch" Lister, an ASU Police officer who died from a heart attack while on patrol in 2010. According to a statement posted to ASU's website, Dutch, was chosen for his easy-going temperament, will live with Sgt. Latella, and will be handled by a victim advocate who joined ASU Police in June. The advocate's unit focuses on sexual violence, domestic violence, intimate partner dating violence, stalking, harassment, and child crimes.

According to ASU Police, one of the biggest issues they see with crime victims is being comfortable enough to communicate with officers.

"We did some research, we found that dogs have been used at other places to help bring people's stress levels down," said Sgt. Latella.

In addition to work with those who have had traumatic encounters with crime, ASU Police officials say Dutch will also serve as a stress reliever for police employees. Currently, ASU Police has two police dogs. The dogs, named Tillman and Zeke, are the departments patrol and explosive-sniffing dogs.