CITRONELLE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Citronelle Police Department has a new employee, and this one has four legs.
Lena is a silver lab, who was adopted by Police Chief Tyler Norris. She’s his second silver lab, he said his last dog died a year ago, and he knew that he wanted another dog, but wanted to do something special. “I just wanted a special purpose for her,” said Norris.
10-week-old Lena is special, and she’s already the most popular member of the police department.
Norris bought Lena so she could help children get through stressful legal proceedings in violent crimes.
“She will be used as emotional support for children, primarily children, that have been the victim of sexual assault or any kind of traumatic event the child has gone through,” said Norris.
Lena and Norris will work with the Child Advocacy Center, as well as the Mobile County District Attorney’s office. She’ll also make trips to Washington County and Clarke County.
“She’s one of two that I know of in Alabama,” said Norris.
She will be one of the few service animals used for legal proceedings. She will also visit schools, nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area. Giving children relief wherever needed.
“Lena will be able to go and do, she’ll be able to go sit on the stand with the child, in the child’s lap, or beside the child if they want, if the judge in court wants to do that,” said Norris.
She’s also a fighter. When she was born, her mother stepped on her head. The vet told the breeder then that she likely wouldn’t survive. But she did. She now has a scar from the three stitches on her head.
“She can relate and the kids can relate to her. Because everybody’s got a scar, whether it’s a physical scar or an emotional scar,” said Norris.
Lena will go through her training process starting in January, and will likely be on the job next spring.