The Scottsdale Police Department is proud to announce its second Crisis Response K9. Our new K9 is named Rocket and he is the first Police K9 to be assigned to a School Resource Officer (SRO) in Maricopa County.
The SPD School Resource Unit canine program is modeled after the SPD Police Crisis Intervention Services (PCIS) canine program and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer canine program. Rocket is assigned to Officer Devon Lines at Chaparral High School SRO and will travel to other schools as needed. Rocket’s duties will include providing comfort to victims, calming high stress situations, and bridging gaps with community members.
All current SROs are Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) and are experienced in helping with behavioral health related incidents. The first contact a young person has with police is often with an SRO. Rocket will be a resource to comfort student victims of crimes. Rocket will also provide an outlet for students experiencing behavioral health crisis situations (including diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness, anxiety, depression, autism, etc.).
School Resource Officers also are responsible for several community outreach programs including Teen Academy, G.R.E.A.T program, Cadet Program, and many other informal outreach efforts. Rocket will work in similar capacity to the current PCIS Crisis Response K9, Chase, by supporting the community with these programs.
This was a zero-cost program to SPD. Rocket, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever, was obtained from “Paws With A Cause,” a Michigan-based organization that custom-trains service dogs. Initial funding for Rocket’s assignment was provided by the Chaparral High School Association of Parents and Teachers (CHAPTS) and the Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation, which raised more than $34,000 to support SPD’s new School Resource Unit canine program. The Foundation intends to continue its support of Rocket, with the hope of expanding the program to other SUSD campuses.
“We’ve been working on placing a service dog at one of our high schools for about a year,” says SUSD’s Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Dr. Milissa Sackos. “Rocket is going to fit right in at Chaparral and open up important, new avenues of communication with our students.
If you would like more information about how these canines are utilized, please visit the news piece on Pima County Sheriff’s Office two SRO dogs https://www.kold.com/2019/03/05/pcsds-newest-ks-lookout-hugs-not-drugs/ ).