UMD police use comfort dog

University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department Pfc. Kelli Blackwell poses with the department’s new comfort dog Lexi, an Australian shepherd mix. 

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department joins only two other university police departments in the nation with a K-9 comfort dog program. “Officer” Lexi, an Australian shepherd mix, is the department’s first resident comfort dog.

Comfort dogs are trained to provide stress relief and affection to people dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma or mental illness.

Lexi has a big job, whether she’s comforting students during stressful exams, helping community members in crisis or promoting self-care among police officers.

“Community relationships are so very important when it comes to policing,” said Pfc. Kelli Blackwell, Lexi’s trained handler.

“I believe this program will benefit both the campus community and the West Baltimore community in which we serve.”

Lexi comes to UMB from a rural area in Florida. After her first few weeks in Charm City, Lexi is getting acclimated to the fast-paced city environment by working with the children participating in the Police Athletics/Activities League Program and the CURE Scholars Program.  

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