GREENFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – A big day for the Greenfield Police Department as they introduce their newest member of the force: a comfort dog, Officer Frank.

Every dog ​​has a day, and Friday was a big day for Frank, as he raised his paw to become the Greenfield Police Department’s new comfort dog.

Deputy Chief William Gordon said Frank’s arrival had been planned for over a year.

“It means everything to me to bring a dog back to our department and go through one of our most junior officers who shows that this program is not just a one-time program, this program is going to span generations of policing of greenfield department as a permanent part of good and it warms my heart,” he said.

Gordon told Western Mass News that eight-week-old Frank has big shoes to fill, replacing their recently deceased comfort dog Clarence and the retired donut officer.

“We are the first department in the country to have a comfort dog and to not have a comfort dog, we really felt the loss,” he said.

His handler, Community Resource Officer Matthew Llewelyn, said he was ready for the challenge that a new dog brings.

“A lot of emotions but the excitement is the biggest… We can’t wait to get started,” Lleweyn said.

And help the community when needed

“Any call where someone needs any type of comfort, a minor, someone in distress, someone who has lost a loved one, literally wants to pet a dog, it doesn’t matter,” explained Lleweyn.

Named in honor of Greenfield Police Detective Frank Roche. Jr. who served the department for decades. His daughter, Kate Szoc, said it was an honor to carry on his legacy.

“He was very invested in the town of Greenfield and wanted to have a good, cohesive relationship between the police department as well as the community for safety and public service,” she said.

“With the police department’s budget reduced in fiscal year 2023, we asked how the comfort dog program was funded. Gordon said they use money from drug dealers and donations.

“We thought it would be appropriate to pay for the equipment the dog needs from this fund in return to the victims,” ​​he said.

Excited to meet Frank? You may see him with Officer Llewelyn on the road as he learns the ropes.

Police told Western Mass News that Frank was due to start training in about a month.

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