By Matt McFarland
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WFSB) — In New Haven there’s a new officer on the police force.
But K9 Finn’s main focus isn’t fighting crime, rather it’s providing comfort.
There is a special connection.
Officer Finn is New Haven’s first police comfort dog, donated by a local non-profit and family that’s dealt with trauma before and are paying it forward to help others.
Officer Finn is ready for duty.
But the yellow lab isn’t looking to lock anyone up. Instead, this K9 is here to offer a little love and support.
“He loves to play, so we’re going to have a blast this summer, can’t wait to get out there,” said Officer Patti Lambe with the New Haven Police Department.
Finn got sworn in Tuesday with plenty of furry law enforcement friends on hand.
Along with his handler, Officer Lambe, he’ll be used to help those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and other impacts from different traumas.
“This was our way of taking something very painful and, traumatic and turning it into something great for the community,” said Isabelle Firine with For Cameron Inc.
Something the Firine family sadly dealt with firsthand.
They started the nonprofit for Cameron to honor their son and brother, who lost his life in 2018.
He thought he was taking an oxycontin pill, but it turned out to be pure fentanyl.
“The way we’d like to think of it is, when the terrible things happen that you wish didn’t happen, we leaned into that to give back to community and provide awareness, so this is a happy day,” Firine said.
Since then, they’ve made it their mission to lessen the stigma surrounding addiction, along with the ongoing effort of supporting the community and making a positive impact in the lives of others.
It’s why they donated Finn to the police department.
He’ll assist in not only officer wellness, peer support, but victim services and community policing including spending time at police athletic league summer camp.
“It’s really big to be able to provide them with a different support. I’m just really excited to get out there in the community,” Lambe said.
New Haven’s newest officer made possible by a family’s bond, determined to help those in need.
“I think my brother would be so proud,” Firine said. “So something like today where it’s a dog, something he loved, he had his own lab, it’s just very special and looking forward to see how our Finn can really help the community.”
While Finn is the department’s first comfort dog, he won’t be the last.
There are already plans to add a second.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.