SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - In 2008, the Scottsdale Police Department was the first police agency in the nation to have a full-time crisis K-9 team.
That team has since expanded to four dogs, with three of them focusing on schools - and Rocket was the first in Maricopa County to head to class.
"His whole job is to give love," said Chaparral High school recourse officer Devon Lines.
Rocket is the first police crisis canine to be assigned to a school resource officer in Maricopa County, and he's been walking the halls of Chaparral High School with Lines for two years now.
He was trained for two years prior to Scottsdale Police acquiring him," Lines said. "He was trained out in Michigan by a national service dog provider, and we explained to them, we want a dog that is comfortable around two thousand screaming kids, but can also give that one-on-one attention, and Rocket was the first choice."
And it's that one-on-one attention that Officer Lines says benefits Rocket and the community the most.
"He's a bridge to communication," Lines said. He allows people to open up and communicate with us. When us as humans experience something traumatic, it's not normal, but a caring happy dog is normal, so he really normalizes situations and allows us to actively communicate with the person to provide whatever services or help we can."
Students experience stress, depression and anxiety, and a simple shake of the paw can make a world of difference when it comes to turning their day around.
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