The City of Mauldin Police Department is growing to meet community needs – including four-legged team members! City of Mauldin City Council voted on March 24 to approve the Community Canine Program that will utilize therapy dogs to assist the Police Department in bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement. The first canine team member has been donated to the City by Lesia’s Goldendoodles in Charleston, and all materials that will be needed were donated by a variety of community partners- making it free of cost to taxpayers.
“Therapy dogs can be a beneficial tool to serve the community in a unique way,” said Police Chief Miller. “The dog will assist our team in connecting with area residents during times of duress, while also allowing for increased opportunities of community involvement and interaction with residents of all ages, including our youngest members through visits to schools.”
There are over 250 police departments across the nation that utilize community canines to better serve their publics. Therapy dogs are instrumental in engaging with the youth and working with individuals who have special needs and those who have experienced trauma. Therapy dogs also make police officers more approachable and their presence more comforting during critical incidents.
In efforts to make this dog part of the City of Mauldin, the community was invited to help name the dog via social media. Each patrol squad picked a name for a female dog, and then votes were accepted online to determine the final selection – Margo. “Having the people of Mauldin involved in naming Margo signified our commitment to Margo being a part of our entire Mauldin community- not just the police department,” said Public Safety Committee Chairperson Carol King.
Margo is a goldendoodle that was born in March 2022. She will join the team later this month.