Wareham Police will soon have a new canine member – although rather than sniffing out illegal substances, the dog will assist School Resource Officer Karl Baptiste in his day-to-day work relating to students.
Baptiste was the city’s school resources officer for 11 years and in the police department for 28 years.
He will soon be trained and placed with a service dog who will become his “daily partner” in schools, Baptiste wrote on his fundraising page for NEADS. NEADS is the organization that trains the dog.
“My partner K9 will have had two years of in-depth training to help me in my daily tasks of welcoming students, maintaining positive interactions, improving positive contacts with more socially closed students and de-escalating certain situations. Baptiste wrote.
Baptiste noted that many of Wareham’s estimated 3,000 students face difficult circumstances, such as anxiety, self-harm, drug addiction, bullying, low self-esteem, unstable family life or absenteeism. school. Many are in special education.
Baptiste said he and the dog would visit classrooms, civic groups and homeschooled children on a regular basis.
“I have seen these amazing assistance dogs at work over and over in many settings,” Baptiste wrote. “Still I’m amazed every time I see them work their magic. They have a way of communicating that we as human beings cannot realize ourselves. “
Baptiste said it costs NEADS around $ 45,000 to train each dog. In addition to service dogs like the one that will work with Baptiste, NEADS trains dogs to work with veterans, the hard of hearing or deaf, children and adults with physical disabilities, and children with autism.
Baptiste originally planned to raise $ 8,000 for the organization – a goal he surpassed in six hours.
As of January 3, the fundraiser raised $ 13,748.
To make a donation, go to https://support.neads.org/fundraiser/3628696.