Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen has chosen Noblesville Police Department therapy dog Luna as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Stars & Stripes Forever 4th of July Parade, sponsored by Gaylor Electric.
The year-old black lab joined the police earlier this year. Luna’s job is to comfort and love people. She helps police, firefighters, first responders and community members dealing with stress or trauma.
“The 4th of July is about celebrating our freedom and independence and Luna helps community members find their own freedom from mental health issues,” Jensen said. “Luna’s presence helps calm and defuse stress and emotions in people who are having a bad day and need help. Therapy dogs help break down communication barriers. By combining emotional support and therapeutic interventions, such as snuggling and lying on a person’s lap in crisis, Luna helps reduce anxiety and stress, in addition to biological stressors like heart rate. , blood pressure and respiration.
Officer Ben Lugar is Luna’s primary handler. They both trained together and Lugar and will join her in the parade. Luna’s first day on the job was in February, and the same day she was assigned to her first call.
“The kid was just going through a pretty stressful environment and home life,” Lugar said. “The child was in crisis mode and just hearing that Luna was there helped calm this child down instantly so we could connect the family to resources. Luna helped the child know that we are here to support you.
Luna is part of Noblesville’s NobleAct created in 2020 by Mayor Jensen. The initiative aims to help victims in need, from addiction to homelessness and even those struggling with mental health issues. Adding therapy dogs to public safety is a newer concept and Luna is the first in Hamilton County. She is available 24/7 and has had an immediate impact within the community and has become a great resource for first responders.
“Luna is an invaluable asset to the Noblesville Police Department and the community of Noblesville,” Lugar said. “Her presence on duty with the officers and staff always makes my arrival at work a joy and she has given me a renewed passion for policing. When we are in public, members of the community always come to see her and thank her. She really is the goal of Noble Act, to build these strong community bonds so that we all have the common goal of being healthy, happy and safe.
This year’s free festivities will take place on Monday, July 4, themed “Stars and Stripes Forever in Noblesville.” The parade begins at 4:30 p.m. with the Downtown Parade presented by Gaylor Electric.
The free expanded fireworks festival sponsored by IDI Composites follows from 6-10 p.m. in Forest Park with activities for kids, teens and adults, food vendors and more.
Hairbanger’s Ball will perform on the Republic Services Main Stage from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free trolley rides will be available from the Noblesville High School parking lot to Forest Park through BJ’s Wholesale Club during and after the festival.
At 10 p.m., the annual fireworks display will begin at Forest Park Golf Course. A fireworks viewing area with nearby parking will be available at Federal Hill Commons for those who simply wish to view the fireworks.
Those interested in participating in Noblesville July 4, 2022e Parade has until Wednesday, June 29 to submit entry forms, which are available online at noblesvillefireworksfestival.com. Registration is $25. The City of Noblesville is waiving entry fees to any nonprofit organizations that wish to participate.
For more information about the show, email Amber Mink at [email protected].