BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The University of Maryland Baltimore’s police department recently welcomed its first comfort dog “Officer” Lexi.

The Australian Shepherd mix is only the third dog to join a university police department with a K9 comfort dog program.

“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.”

Pfc. Kelli Blackwell – UMBPD Comfort K9 Officer Credit: UMBPD

Lexi comes from a rural part of Florida. Since starting in Baltimore she’s been getting used to the fast pace of city life, working with children at the PAL (Police Athletics/Activities League) and the CURE Scholars Program.

She will be able to provide stress relief and affection to people dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, or mental illness. She’ll be able to help students and officers.

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