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Dog helps ease tension at Parsons Police Department - KOAM TV 7

Dog helps ease tension at Parsons Police Department

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To help ease tensions of a high stress job and dealing with high stress individuals the Parsons Police Department have decided to adopt a pet.

A brindle colored Boxer named Sergeant Roscoe, an Independence, Kansas native, joined the Parson's police force on a trial basis back in October but he's not going anywhere anytime soon.

"Lots of my officers were pressuring me that they would like to have a mascot, that they would like to have a dog up here or something of that nature," says Parsons Police Chief Scott Gofourth.

Chief Gofourth says what started out as simply a mascot for his staff has evolved to so much more.

"Basically changed the demeanor of the department itself," says Chief Gofourth.  "Officers are having bad days, they have an opportunity to be with Roscoe and it helps reduce stress."

It isn't just the police officers that have felt the benefits of Roscoe.  The department says he helps to calm down rowdy offenders as well.

"We had a child in here, he was going off on officers, he was cussing and screaming and Roscoe went and layed in his lap and you would have thought it was a completely different kid," says Parsons police officer Cheryl Gharmalkar.  "It's like magic - seriously."

Despite a lack of official training in the therapy dog field Chief Gofourth says Roscoe is a natural and that he wishes he had introduced him to the staff years ago despite initial hesitance from his staff.

"The interesting thing is that they even found now in situations where someone is volatile, they will even say 'hey, we've got to leave Roscoe here, can you watch him for us,'" says Gharmaalkar.

Officer Gharmalkar says the effect Roscoe has had on the department is obvious and that she believes every police department should get a Roscoe of their own.

The Parsons police chief says Roscoe has not only helped with stress levels at his station, but his officers physical health as well.  He says having Roscoe around has proven to reduce blood pressure levels of staff.

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