Meet the newest member of the Appleton Police Department - a therapy dog named Blue

APPLETON (WLUK) -- A new addition to the Appleton Police Department-- a puppy named Blue.

Blue will have a very important job to do.

Patrolling the halls of the Appleton Police Department is Blue, the newest rookie officer in town.

His main duty -- lifting the spirits of everyone in the department.

Chief Todd Thomas got Blue, a 12-week-old golden doodle, to be a therapy dog for the department's employees, who often deal with stressful situations.

Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas said, "Wandering the station, checking in with people, we know how we all feel when a puppy or a dog walks into the room, our temperament changes."

Matt Fillebrown, Appleton Police Department's lead CSO and humane officer, said, "It's easy to be swept up in work, and trying to fix the city's problems. But once the dog walked into the office, it was like a light switched, and you just want to get on the ground and play with him."

But before Blue can get down to business, he needs to be professionally trained.

Thomas said, "Right now he's a rookie officer, he's a puppy. He's gotta go through his classes, and he's gotta be certified just like a new police officer. And once he's certified, he's going to be able to come to work."

Wednesday, Blue attended his first class at the Fox Valley Humane Association.

The first of many classes he'll need to get his vest and badges.

Amy Christensen with the Fox Valley Humane Association said, "We do a lot of sit, down, stay. You have to be very in tune with your owner."

Once Blue is ready, he can also help members of the community.

Thomas said, "We'll be able to use him for going to schools, reading to kids, visiting hospitals. If we have a traumatic incident, or some child victims, we can bring him in to help them."

Bringing joy and comfort to those who really need it.

Thomas said, "I think it's going to make a big impact."

There is no cost to the city of Appleton for the purchase and care of Blue.

Chief Thomas and his family have it covered.

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