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Essex Hosts Convention for Comfort Dog

The Essex County Sheriff's Office hosted a convention for comfort dogs at the Northern Essex Community College. Comfort dogs from area law enforcement agencies came together for a meet and greet and training.

The convention was meant to bring local comfort dogs and their handlers together.

These comfort dogs have become an integral part of community policing and are often found helping in schools or care facilities, said Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. He said this event was done to support these officers and dogs, as well as to provide some free training.

“Being in law enforcement comes with unavoidable stress. When these dogs walk into our facilities, it lessens the burden a bit. It gives an officer who may be feeling overwhelmed a chance to breathe and receive a little love from a happy dog,” Sheriff Coppinger said. “It’s about officer wellness, but it’s also a way for us to support our communities and bring these comfort dogs out in times of need, especially when tragedy strikes.”

Two of the dogs participating in the event.

Tuesday’s event was the first of three of these events, which will include trainings for the officers and dogs, and will culminate in an obedience competition in the fall.

Attending the training were: Essex County Sheriff’s Department Officer Christian Guzman and partner Pasky, Peabody Police SRO Eric Ricci and partner Ella, Rockport Police SRO Mike Anderson and partner Luna, Gloucester Police SRO Pete Sutera and partner Ace, Manchester-by-the-Sea Police SRO Andrea Locke and partner Daisy, Northern Essex Community College Police Lt. Keith Walker and partner Winnie, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Chad Tata and partner Luna, Swampscott Police SRO Brian Wilson and partner Sora and the Hamilton Police Officer Michael Girolimon and partner Luca.

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