WILMINGTON, DE — Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Chief of Police Wilfredo Campos announced the recent addition of a new Trauma and Wellness Dog for the Wilmington Police Department. His name is Barry, and he is an 18-month-old English Labrador Retriever. Barry began his police department service earlier this month.
The WPD Trauma and Wellness Dog is an extension of the department’s Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)/Peer Support Team, which is available to sworn and civilian police department employees to help mitigate the effects of critical incidents and promote overall health and wellness. In addition to providing support for WPD staff, the Trauma and Wellness Dog will support the WPD’s Victim Services Unit, and by extension, those affected by crime in Wilmington.
“We are excited to introduce Barry to Wilmington, and to expand our efforts to support the community and our employees,” said Chief Campos. “I believe strongly in the importance of ensuring the health and wellness of our residents, as well as the first responders and civilian staff – both on the street and behind the scenes – who protect and serve our City. The addition of Barry as our Trauma and Wellness Dog is another way we are continuing this work.”
Barry’s handler, Lt. Harold Bozeman, is the commanding officer of the department’s new Community Engagement Unit, as well as the department’s CISM/Peer Support Team. Barry has already made appearances at community meetings and WPD initiatives, such as the department’s weekly Community Outreach Walks and its monthly Coffee with a Cop events. Barry will also make appearances at our monthly Community Resource Fairs and other public events.
“I am thrilled to welcome Barry to our Critical Incident Stress Management & Peer Support Team. This is the culmination of a nearly two-year effort to add a mental health dog to our employee support and wellness programs,” said Lt. Bozeman. “Thanks to enthusiastic support from Chief Campos, we have substantially enhanced our ability to provide comfort and support not just to our employees but also to the public that we serve. I have already seen Barry making a positive impact on the morale of our officers and staff and I know that he will continue to do so as he settles into his role as a member of our work family.”
“Barry’s arrival signals once again how much Chief Campos and our police officers are in tune with the needs of the civilian and sworn members of the force as well as the importance of continually improving community and police relations,” said Mayor Purzycki. “I welcome Barry to the force and look forward to his service to the department and community.”
Barry comes to Wilmington from the Texas-based nonprofit K9s for Freedom and Independence with the support of the Barclays Military Service Employee Resource Group.
“We appreciate the support of our partners, including the Barclays Military Service Employee Resource Group,” said Chief Campos. “Their generosity has helped us to bring this initiative to fruition, and we look forward to seeing the continued positive impact in our department and community.”
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