BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Meet Lexi!
Last month, the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department became just the third university police department in the country to get a comfort dog.
Friday, “Officer” Lexi worked with students in the UMB Cure Scholars program.
The 11-month-old Australian Shepherd mix is the newest member of the force, bringing licks, laughs and love to those she meets.
“I just think most people are dog lovers whether they know it or not,” said officer Kelli Blackwell.
Trained in providing stress relief and affection, Lexi is the department’s first comfort dog.
“A comfort dog is a dog that is trained to provide comfort to those who may have experienced traumatic experiences, those suffering from stress and anxiety. So she’s just here to calm them down,” Blackwell said.
She also provides a little reprieve to the hard-working students in the Cure Scholars program.
“It’s like a stress relief, because we’ve been doing a lot of things,” student Demonyae Smith said.
The meet-and-greets with Lexi also serve as an opportunity to open a dialog.
“She allows people to approach police officers who normally wouldn’t approach police officers. So she’s been great in just building those bridges between the community and police officers,” Blackwell said.
Lexi also has her own Instagram account; you can follow her @officerlexi.